Definition of axis in English:



  • 1An imaginary line about which a body rotates.

    ‘the Earth revolves on its axis once every 24 hours’
    • ‘It rotates once on its axis in the same time it goes once around Earth.’
    • ‘The sphere rotates around its axis once each 24 hours.’
    • ‘To say that the Earth rotates on its axis once per day and completes one orbit of the Sun each year is to encapsulate but also to simplify the situation.’
    • ‘No person who pretends to any understanding of the natural world can deny these facts any more than she or he can deny that the earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun.’
    • ‘Earth and other planets rotated on their axes and revolved around the Sun.’
    • ‘I can discover them subsequently like the axis around which a body rotates.’
    • ‘Sedna is rotating much more rapidly than originally believed, spinning once on its axis every 10 hours.’
    • ‘As the Earth rotates once about its axis in 24 hours, the Moon is moving 1 / 30th of the way around in its orbit.’
    • ‘All turn on their axes once in a day from west to east, and all go round the Sun within the same time. Saturn is the most distant from the Sun.’
    • ‘The Sun spins once on its axis once every 25 days at its equator, carrying sunspots around.’
    • ‘The earth has an atmosphere, and rotates on its axis as it revolves around the sun.’
    • ‘A number of sources quote his belief that the earth is at the centre of the universe but that it rotates on its axis once a day.’
    • ‘In this situation the vertical axis of the body is rotated against the inclination of the substrate as if to compensate for the effect of substrate inclination.’
    • ‘The earth rotates once on its axis each day, or 360 degrees every 24 hours, or 15 degrees every hour.’
    • ‘The values he gave were inaccurate but he wrote that earth rotates at its axis and revolves round the sun.’
    • ‘Because the Moon turns on its axis only once a month, targets may be observed continuously for many days.’
    • ‘We normally count the day - the time it takes Earth to rotate once on its axis - as the smallest unit of calendrical time.’
    • ‘A gyroscope is a wheel or disc mounted in such a way that it is free to rotate around an axis as well as to move linearly along the other two axes.’
    • ‘The book stated that the earth rotated on its axis once a day and moved around the sun once a year.’
    • ‘Imagine an enormous bowl, too wide to see across, that's spinning, much like the earth, in two ways at once: around its own axis, and in orbit of a point outside itself.’
    centre line, vertical, horizontal
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Geometry An imaginary straight line passing through the center of a symmetrical solid, about which a plane figure can be conceived as rotating to generate the solid.
      • ‘Many eighteenth-century manuals on gauging treated barrels as solids generated by rotating conic sections about their axes.’
      • ‘If a plane figure is rotated about an axis in its plane then the volume of the solid body formed is equal to the product of the area with the distance travelled by the centre of gravity.’
      • ‘He examined the three dimensional figures obtained by rotating a regular polygon about an axis of symmetry.’
      • ‘While at Göttingen Segner discovered that every solid body has three axes of symmetry.’
    2. 1.2 An imaginary line which divides something into equal or roughly equal halves, especially in the direction of its greatest length.
      • ‘Foster's scheme features a ‘jewel box,’ a glass and steel structure that runs along the central axis of the museum.’
      • ‘The eastern corner where the main entrance is set is even symmetrical about its diagonal axis, the entrance doors being placed to either side of a completely square stair tower.’
      • ‘The width of a molecule at a given point along the contour length is the diameter of the horizontal axis of the elliptical cross section at that point.’
      • ‘Militaristically, the correct etiquette for the bow, what one does and doesn't do, is based on a correct center line axis of the body, as in skiing.’
      • ‘The long axis of the structure at Woodhenge points to the entrance into the henge; like Stonehenge, the whole site is orientated towards the rising midsummer sun.’
      • ‘Occasionally, the number of tubules in a blade or the number of blades was different along the longitudinal axis of a basal body.’
      • ‘The dorsal and anal fins, which push the fish along, are way off the central axis of its body, yet the animal swims a straight path without rocking up and down.’
      • ‘The horizontal axis divides the short and long arms into approximately a proximal one-third and distal two-thirds portions.’
      • ‘‘There's a row of handholds that way,’ Eaton said, pointing down the long axis of the ship.’
      • ‘And if you want even more space you can move the middle seat rearward and adjust the two seats on a diagonal axis to the centre of the car, making a more comfortable four-seater.’
      • ‘Koch analyses that in Shah Jahan era, painting third dimension reality is flattened and arranged around a central axis that divides the picture into two equal parts.’
      • ‘The pond runs down the central axis, bringing the core of the garden to its shores.’
      • ‘In order to facilitate comparison among layers, all angles were measured as acute angles relative to the horizontal axis of the body.’
      • ‘Recent anatomic work in the rat has shown that the superior longitudinalis muscle runs in the midline along the long axis of the tongue.’
      • ‘The dual oil coolers were situated at 90 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft.’
      • ‘The skeleton of the tadpole was defined as the centerline axis of the body.’
      • ‘The posterior margin of the carapace is ornamented with a distinct single line of rounded tubercles that are broadly symmetrical about the midline axis of the carapace.’
  • 2Mathematics
    A fixed reference line for the measurement of coordinates.

    ‘the variable that is thought of as a cause is placed on the horizontal axis, and the variable that is thought of as an effect on the vertical axis’
    • ‘As the abscissas of points 1 and 18 were used to define a reference axis, only their ordinates were used.’
    • ‘They orient along the x, y, and z axes of a Cartesian coordinate system.’
    • ‘The vertical axis of the graph encodes the ratio between the measured distances and L (Î).’
    • ‘Mathematicians have developed algorithms for finding the roots of polynomial equations without having to plot graphs and locate where curves cross the x axis.’
    • ‘The abscissa and ordinate axes show the number of protein interactions for the first and second protein member of each pair.’
  • 3A straight central part in a structure to which other parts are connected.

    • ‘A shaft parallel to the transmission-engine axis connects the transfer casing to the angle drive powering the front wheels.’
    • ‘The first four and last four galleries formed two parallel axes with a small connecting gallery in between.’
    • ‘The gallery is basically square, typically classical, on the central axis of the building, with an extremely high, domed ceiling.’
    • ‘But from this vantage point along the axis of the mall, Independence Hall is visually overwhelmed by much larger buildings in the distance.’
    • ‘Konduz lies at the heart of the north-south axis of the country connecting the capital Kabul to the former republic of Tajikistan - a significant route for trade.’
    • ‘A connecting axis between the two across Jalan Pemuda should perhaps be built.’
    • ‘The group is easily recognized by their radial symmetry, with a central nonseptate axis to which are attached whorls of lateral appendages which may or may not be branched.’
    • ‘For example, just as this map shows, most Starbucks stores are along the Chang An Street (the central axis of the city), and there are more stores north of the street.’
    • ‘What this means, in actuality, is that the constitutional court precinct will act as a hub, a central axis and meeting point in a still divided city.’
    • ‘A pedestrian axis will connect Alumni Green to the new Fairfax atrium.’
    • ‘A bridge crane runs along the building's central axis, resembling the steel structure that supports it.’
    • ‘The new masterplan attempts to alleviate this by organising a series of public spaces about an axis connecting Lancer Barracks and St John's Church.’
    1. 3.1Botany The central column of an inflorescence or other growth.
      • ‘The different types of flowers are initiated acropetally along the axis of the inflorescence.’
      • ‘Each module of a sympodium consists of an axis bearing two bracts and terminating in a flower.’
      • ‘In addition, the stems (including the axis of the inflorescence) serve as temporary storage sites.’
      • ‘The sympodia are arranged more or less parallel to the stem axis and follow the phyllotactic spirals of the leaves.’
      • ‘This group is morphologically characterized by boat-shaped extrafloral nectar cups and a long inflorescence axis exhibiting a more racemose arrangement of the flowers.’
    2. 3.2Zoology The skull and backbone of a vertebrate animal.
      • ‘Without functional analyses of axial ligaments, the basis for flexural stiffness in any particular vertebrate axis is wanting.’
      • ‘The caudal fin represents the distal region of the vertebrate axis and is the region of the body where fluid accelerated anteriorly is shed into the surrounding medium.’
      • ‘The body axis of vertebrates is an integrated cylinder of bones, connective tissue, and muscle.’
      • ‘Thus shear loading mechanisms may play a central role in integrative models of the vertebrate body axis.’
      • ‘This is the architecture that supports and is supported by the vertebrate axis, namely the notochord or vertebral column.’
      • ‘In spite of, or perhaps because of, the relative dearth of information on the vertebrate body axis, a groundswell of interest and activity is underway.’
  • 4Anatomy
    The second cervical vertebra, below the atlas at the top of the backbone.

    • ‘The axis may be fused with either the atlas or with the third vertebra.’
    • ‘The muscle's origin may not ascend above the axis or descend below the third thoracic vertebra.’
  • 5An agreement or alliance between two or more countries that forms a center for an eventual larger grouping of nations.

    ‘the Anglo-American axis’
    • ‘The change broke apart the Franco-German axis because Helmut Schmidt had less in common with the Socialist president than he had with the conservative Giscard.’
    • ‘The Franco-German axis is the driving force behind the new constitution.’
    • ‘Despite the formation of a Moscow-Paris-Berlin axis, however, it would still have been possible to secure a majority on the Security Council.’
    • ‘This most recent episode sheds new light on the political axis that underlies the Democratic Party campaign.’
    • ‘However, these attacks might cause an opposite effect, because they could move Turkey further into the same axis as the US and Israel.’
    • ‘Israel has long denounced the axis between Syria and Hizbollah as a strategic threat.’
    • ‘The Russia-France-China axis is showing surprising strength.’
    • ‘The transatlantic axis, nevertheless, continues to play an important role in German foreign policy.’
    • ‘On the one hand, Putin sought to re-evaluate the international status of the Kremlin through a strengthening of the Berlin-Moscow axis.’
    • ‘Even the Franco-German axis, its central bastion, is crumbling under the pressure of resurgent nationalism.’
    • ‘Until now, Europe has been seen as more left wing than the US-UK axis.’
    • ‘After the break-up of the USSR, he inexorably gravitated toward the US-Israeli axis.’
    • ‘Deals and manoeuvres are still being made, and there has been no final determination of international axes and power blocs.’
    • ‘Strong advocates of an Anglo-American axis, the Tories believe the US is at best lukewarm about what is an essentially European initiative in Macedonia.’
    • ‘Kabila is heavily dependent on Angolan support and the Angolan-DRC-Ugandan axis behind the peace initiative is clearly backed by the US.’
    • ‘He acted as a pro-American power broker and an alternative voice to the German-French axis within the European Union.’
    • ‘Most of all, the assertion of the Anglo-Iberian alliance is designed as a counterweight to the Franco-German axis.’
    • ‘They are now faced with redefining the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis as a counterweight to the US.’
    • ‘All of these bastions of US influence are being used to undermine what has been the engine of European integration thus far, the Franco-German axis.’
    • ‘The Franco-German axis is resurrected from time to time, and either hailed or deprecated for trying to lead the Council in a particular direction.’
    alliance, coalition, bloc, confederation, confederacy, union, league
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1 The alliance of Germany and Italy formed before and during World War II, later extended to include Japan and other countries.
      as modifier ‘the Axis Powers’
      • ‘Of course, these weapons were useless if they could not be brought to bear against the Axis powers.’
      • ‘If Britain controlled the Suez then Germany and the Axis powers could not use it.’
      • ‘In 1940, Franco declined Hitler's request to join the Axis in World War Two.’
      • ‘The Axis in response sought to hold Tunisia with fresh troops and the remnants of the German-Italian army that had fled Egypt.’
      • ‘Soon, the Axis powers, led by Nazi Germany, had conquered the whole of Europe.’
      • ‘Both the Allies and the Axis countries were looking for a new way to encrypt messages - a way that would result in complete security.’
      • ‘The defeat of the Afrika Korps was a brutal blow to the Axis powers.’
      • ‘Delivering a left hook to try to trap the Axis forces on the Mareth Line, Freyberg hesitated at the vital moment.’
      • ‘There, they pronounced the formula of unconditional surrender for the Axis powers.’
      • ‘Their secret agenda, crushing the Axis into submission, was holy and treated as such.’
      • ‘The Allies are led by Britain, the Axis by Germany and the Comintern by the Soviet Union.’
      • ‘As a nation, we can hold our heads high for the role we played in defeating the Nazis and the tyranny of the Axis powers.’
      • ‘As someone who played a victim of the Nazis, I doubt he would've wanted no one to stand up and fight against Hitler and the Axis, ya know?’
      • ‘Unlike the Grand Alliance, the Axis coalition formed by the pact had no agreed strategy for fighting the war.’
      • ‘Walshe was an admirer of Mussolini and when the war began he favoured an Axis victory.’
      • ‘Neither XXX nor XIII Corps were able to break through to exploit the more open country to the rear of the Axis position.’
      • ‘By the summer of 1943, it was already apparent that the Axis powers were confronting defeat.’
      • ‘Its name originated as a cover term for the countries which fought against the Axis in the Second World War.’
      • ‘In North Africa, it represented the whole Free World against the Axis powers - Germany and Italy.’
      • ‘The Axis of German forces were dug in along two lines, called by the Allies the Oxalic Line and the Pierson Line.’


Late Middle English: from Latin, ‘axle, pivot’.