Definition of horizontal in English:

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Pronunciation: /hɒrɪˈzɒnt(ə)l/


1Parallel to the plane of the horizon; at right angles to the vertical: a horizontal line
More example sentences
  • The child bends forward at the waist until the spine becomes parallel to the horizontal plane, while holding palms together with arms extended.
  • But it's not just the high resolution that makes this screen a good one, it's also evenly lit across the whole surface and the viewing angle is very wide in both the vertical and horizontal planes.
  • The navigator switches on the radar system and the antenna extends, turning through 90° from the horizontal to the vertical plane.
parallel, level, even, straight, plane, flush
1.1(Of machinery) having its parts working in a horizontal direction: a horizontal steam engine
More example sentences
  • Mr Gill said the tandem compound horizontal engine was made by Smith Brothers and Eastwood of Bradford and it was the last example of its type built by the firm.
  • He first constructed a horizontal wheel that he named a Danaide, and later devised another, the Vortex Water Wheel, which he patented in July 1850 and which came to be used extensively.
  • The 1 - Series from Makino inaugurates a new era in reliable, high-performance horizontal machine tools.
2Being at or involving the same level of a hierarchy: horizontal class loyalties
More example sentences
  • Bureaucracy frustrates desire, channeling it into horizontal loops lacking hierarchy and consequence, dissipating energy and interest.
  • I see the relationship as basically horizontal on that level, though obviously asymmetric in other ways, including but not limited to the legal aspects.
  • Because the structure of the Iraqi insurgency is horizontal as opposed to hierarchical, it cannot be decapitated.
2.1Uniform; based on uniformity: horizontal expansion of the international community
More example sentences
  • The vertical system is based on the value of the claim; the horizontal system is based on territorial criteria.
  • One of Starbucks' main priorities has always been horizontal expansion.
  • Some total purchasing pilots also developed processes for horizontal accountability based on peer review of prescribing and referrals.
2.2Combining firms engaged in the same stage or type of production: a horizontal merger
More example sentences
  • They wanted to streamline operations, so his firm suggested a horizontal realignment of operations.
  • Recent studies challenge value creation in conglomerate mergers, concluding that there are no synergies created through diversification or horizontal mergers.
  • It has consequently recognized explicitly the regulator's need to have comparisons by making very difficult any horizontal mergers in the English water industry.
3Of or at the horizon: the horizontal moon


A horizontal line, plane, etc.
Example sentences
  • Nushu characters are structured by four kinds of strokes, including dots, horizontals, verticals and arcs.
  • Originally, the set had four different colors, red, blue, green and yellow, with three colors in each format - large and small, squares, verticals and horizontals.
  • For your information, all verticals and horizontals run vertical and horizontal in those diagrams, and I've no idea what ‘axis’ you refer to.



Pronunciation: /hɒrɪzɒnˈtalɪti/
Example sentences
  • This horizontality has always puzzled and offended Americans.
  • The most visible intervention is a two-storey ‘light beam’ that runs longitudinally along the building, its emphatic horizontality counterbalancing the strong vertical mass of the central chimney.
  • The character of the space still has to do with that incessant horizontality.


Mid 16th century (in sense 3 of the adjective): from French, or from modern Latin horizontalis, from late Latin horizon, horizont- (see horizon).

Words that rhyme with horizontal


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hori|zon¦tal

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