Definition of ordinate in English:



  • A straight line from any point drawn parallel to one coordinate axis and meeting the other, especially a coordinate measured parallel to the vertical.

    Compare with abscissa
    • ‘Time in minutes is plotted along the abscissa and the cumulative number of responses is plotted on the ordinate.’
    • ‘Note that in C and D the abscissa and ordinate are swapped for presentation.’
    • ‘The negative and positive signs on the ordinate mean, respectively, underestimation and overestimation of the expected values.’
    • ‘The ordinate represents yearly expenditures on a constant dollar basis.’
    • ‘The ordinate indicates additive effects on each trait estimated by interval mapping.’


Late 17th century: from Latin linea ordinata applicata line applied parallel, from ordinare put in order.