AskDefine | Define elevation

Dictionary Definition



1 the event of something being raised upward; "an elevation of the temperature in the afternoon"; "a raising of the land resulting from volcanic activity" [syn: lift, raising]
2 the highest level or degree attainable; "his landscapes were deemed the acme of beauty"; "the artist's gifts are at their acme"; "at the height of her career"; "the peak of perfection"; "summer was at its peak"; "...catapulted Einstein to the pinnacle of fame"; "the summit of his ambition"; "so many highest superlatives achieved by man"; "at the top of his profession" [syn: acme, height, peak, pinnacle, summit, superlative, top]
3 angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object) [syn: EL, altitude, ALT]
4 a raised or elevated geological formation [syn: natural elevation] [ant: natural depression]
5 distance of something above a reference point (such as sea level); "there was snow at the higher elevations"
6 (ballet) the height of a dancer's leap or jump; "a dancer of exceptional elevation"
7 drawing of an exterior of a structure
8 the act of increasing the wealth or prestige or power or scope of something; "the aggrandizement of the king"; "his elevation to cardinal" [syn: aggrandizement, aggrandisement]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The act of raising from a lower place, condition, or quality to a higher; -- said of material things, persons, the mind, the voice, etc.; as, the elevation of grain; elevation to a throne; elevation to sainthood; elevation of mind, thoughts, or character.
  2. Condition of being elevated; height; exaltation.
  3. That which is raised up or elevated; an elevated place or station; as, an elevation of the ground; a hill.
  4. The distance of a celestial object above the horizon, or the arc of a vertical circle intercepted between it and the horizon; altitude; as, the elevation of the pole, or of a star.
  5. The angle which the style makes with the substylar line.
  6. The movement of the axis of a piece in a vertical plane; also, the angle of elevation, that is, the angle between the axis of the piece and the line o/ sight; -- distinguished from direction.
  7. A geometrical projection of a building, or other object, on a plane perpendicular to the horizon; orthographic projection on a vertical plane; -- called by the ancients the orthography.
  8. The raising of the Host - representing Christ's body - in a mass or Holy Communion service.

Extensive Definition

The elevation of a geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point, often the mean sea level. Elevation, or geometric height, is mainly used when referring to points on the Earth's surface, while altitude or geopotential height is used for points above the surface, such as an aircraft in flight or a spacecraft in orbit.
Less commonly, elevation is measured using the center of the Earth as the reference point. Due to equatorial bulge, there is debate whether the summits of Mt. Everest or Chimborazo are at the higher elevation, as the Chimborazo summit is further from the Earth's center while the Mt. Everest summit is higher above mean sea level.

Maps and GIS

A topographical map is the main type of map used to depict elevation, often through use of contour lines.
In a Geographic Information System (GIS), digital elevation models (DEM) are commonly used to represent the surface (topography) of a place, through a raster (grid) dataset of elevations. Digital terrain models are another way to represent terrain in GIS.
To determine elevation of a place, it must be surveyed, in reference to a ground control point.


The elevation of a mountain usually refers to its summit. The elevation of a hill also refers to the summit. A valley's elevation is usually taken from the lowest point but is often taken all over the valley.
elevation in Asturian: Altitú
elevation in German: Höhe über dem Meeresspiegel
elevation in Modern Greek (1453-): Υψόμετρο
elevation in Spanish: Altitud
elevation in French: Altitude
elevation in Polish: Wysokość bezwzględna
elevation in Russian: Возвышение (география)
elevation in Simple English: Height
elevation in Slovak: Nadmorská výška
elevation in Slovenian: Nadmorska višina
elevation in Turkish: Rakım
elevation in Chinese: 海拔

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Olympian heights, access, accession, acclivity, accretion, accrual, accruement, accumulation, acme, addition, advance, advancement, aerial heights, aggrandizement, altitude, amplification, anabasis, apex, apotheosis, appreciation, ascension, ascent, augmentation, ballooning, beatification, bigheartedness, bigness, bloating, blueprint, boom, boost, broadening, brouillon, buildup, canonization, cartoon, ceiling, chart, chivalrousness, chivalry, clamber, climb, climbing, consequence, conspicuousness, copy, crescendo, cultivation, deification, delineation, design, development, diagram, dignification, dignity, distinction, dizzy heights, draft, drawing, ebauche, edema, eminence, enhancement, enlargement, ennoblement, enshrinement, enthronement, erecting, erection, errantry, escalade, esquisse, ether, exaltation, excellence, expansion, extension, figure, flood, fountain, gain, generosity, generousness, glorification, graduation, grandeur, graph, gravity, great heart, greatening, greatheartedness, greatness, greatness of heart, ground plan, growth, gush, gyring up, hauteur, heaven, heavens, heaving up, height, heighth, heights, heroism, high mightiness, high-mindedness, highness, hike, hill, house plan, ichnography, idealism, immortalization, importance, increase, increment, inflation, jet, jump, knight-errantry, knighting, knightliness, largeheartedness, leap, levitation, liberality, liberalness, lift, lionization, loftiness, lofting, lump, magnanimity, magnanimousness, magnification, majesty, mark, mount, mounting, multiplication, nobility, noble-mindedness, nobleness, notability, note, openhandedness, outline, outstandingness, passing, pattern, pay raise, perpendicular distance, plot, preference, preferment, princeliness, productiveness, profile, projection, proliferation, prominence, promotion, raise, raising, rearing, refinement, rise, rising, rising ground, rocketing up, rough, sainting, saltation, sanctification, shooting up, significance, skeleton, sketch, sky, snowballing, soaring, solemnity, spout, spread, spring, spurt, standing on end, stateliness, stature, steep, stratosphere, sublimity, supereminence, surge, swelling, table, takeoff, taking off, tallness, toploftiness, tumescence, up, upclimb, upcoming, updraft, upgang, upgo, upgoing, upgrade, upgrading, upgrowth, uphill, upleap, uplift, uplifting, upping, upraising, uprearing, uprisal, uprise, uprising, uprush, upshoot, upslope, upsurge, upsurgence, upsweep, upswing, uptrend, upturn, vantage ground, vantage point, vault, waxing, wen, widening, working drawing, zenith, zooming
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