Definition of horizontal in English:



  • 1Parallel to the plane of the horizon; at right angles to the vertical.

    ‘a horizontal line’
    • ‘Although I don't think the snow's going to lie, as at the moment it's travelling at speed in a horizontal direction, hardly getting a chance to touch the ground.’
    • ‘First, we drew reference lines with a pencil: vertical and horizontal lines that intersected at the center of the circular face.’
    • ‘Vertical or horizontal sag lines mean the garment is too big in that area and needs to be taken in.’
    • ‘Architect Frank O. Gehry has made a career out of bending vertical and horizontal lines of building construction into something defiant and sometimes poetic.’
    • ‘Racing skates are also adjustable, but only in the horizontal direction, allowing for a longer or shorter wheelbase.’
    • ‘We see vertical and horizontal lines, they stand out, because receptors in the eyes are set to perceive them.’
    • ‘Mondrian's style of painting involved the use of strictly horizontal or vertical black lines to create a grid of rectangles, some of which were filled in with black or white, or vivid red, blue or yellow.’
    • ‘The venous outflow was then directed through a narrow horizontal tube that allowed observation of individual drops of fluid at low flow.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A series of these scans in the horizontal and longitudinal direction can be used to compose a grid.’
    • ‘You will actually start moving in water in a horizontal direction.’
    • ‘In other word, Neoplasticism represents the absolute elements - primary colours and vertical and horizontal lines - that underlie all appearances.’
    • ‘Swimmers must swim face down moving their arms and legs together in a horizontal direction and while their head can be immersed completely, it must break the surface of the water during every complete stroke.’
    • ‘The minimum circumferential stress around a vertical borehole occurs in the direction of the maximum horizontal stress.’
    • ‘This rapid motion was all in a horizontal direction.’
    • ‘The course is simply the horizontal direction in which a vessel is actually moving expressed as an angular distance measured clockwise from north.’
    • ‘Both vertical and horizontal forehead lines are usually improved by this technique.’
    • ‘Observers made their responses by pressing one of two keys on the computer keyboard, labelled with a vertical or horizontal line.’
    • ‘The child bends forward at the waist until the spine becomes parallel to the horizontal plane, while holding palms together with arms extended.’
    • ‘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
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    1. 1.1 (of machinery) having its parts working in a horizontal direction.
      ‘a horizontal steam engine’
      • ‘The low centre of gravity which results from the horizontal engine design has several benefits.’
      • ‘I frequently change my leg training program, and sometimes I do presses on the horizontal leg press machine.’
      • ‘Siebel specialises in fairly inflexible vertical market products, while Oracle has an array of customisable horizontal CRM systems.’
      • ‘Merina weavers use a technique known as akotyfahana, produced on a horizontal, fixed-heddle loom with a continuous weft and warp.’
      • ‘The Joint 5X5 AS is equipped with a pneumatic brake and a horizontal clamp which comes in from the front of the machine to stabilize the rabbet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He pushed the legless ends together on the ground so as to form a virtual hub, from which the crossbars radiated up and outward like the spokes of a giant horizontal wheel.’
      • ‘Piston rods are preferably hardened on a horizontal machine independent of the machining condition of the end face.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The 30 propellant charges on the right in three rows of 10, stowed vertically on a horizontal conveyor belt that runs under the floor of the vehicle.’
      • ‘Leonti ripped the Sestuan's massive sword off of the horizontal mount on the machine's back and parried the other machine's katana with it.’
      • ‘A central automatic Bentonmac mixing plant featured four horizontal mixers and six 150-ton silos for cement, aggregate and sand.’
      • ‘He used Daniel Bernoulli's theoretical work on the ‘reaction effect’ to produce a horizontal waterwheel using the same principle which drives a modern lawn sprinkler.’
  • 2Involving social groups of equal status.

    ‘horizontal class loyalties’
    • ‘The cornerstones are methods of eliminating horizontal violence and hierarchical or patriarchal control.’
    • ‘I see the relationship as basically horizontal on that level, though obviously asymmetric in other ways, including but not limited to the legal aspects.’
    • ‘When sabotage is directed at co-workers who are on the same level within an organization's hierarchy, it is called horizontal violence.’
    • ‘Or is the basis of the group entirely horizontal (though with some degree of hierarchy)?’
    • ‘This looks to things in their horizontal relations and thus ignores the many other levels of existence.’
    • ‘Apparently there is debate among the Friends as to whether their organization is mediated through a relationship to Christ, or whether it is based on horizontal friends-relationships.’
    • ‘The relationship between the former and latter is more horizontal than hierarchical.’
    • ‘But Middleton's play refuses moral conclusions in a new spirit of horizontal time and space that refuses medieval hierarchy.’
    • ‘First, this is the first Arab government in the history of the modern Arab world that's ever been produced by a horizontal conversation among the people in the country itself.’
    • ‘Bureaucracy frustrates desire, channeling it into horizontal loops lacking hierarchy and consequence, dissipating energy and interest.’
    • ‘Significant features of the Coordinadora are the lack of leaders, the practice of direct democracy and horizontal organisation.’
    • ‘While we must still retain a hierarchy of being, Haught asserts that it is not a vertical but a horizontal hierarchy.’
    • ‘It provided a way for multiple entities in a UDDI directory to link themselves in a hierarchy or in a horizontal, point-to-point chain.’
    • ‘These are the two obvious situations in which horizontal agreements - those between undertakings operating at the same level in the market - may be condemned.’
    • ‘In fact, the film repeatedly stages horizontal affiliations that work against the strict hierarchies of the cavalry.’
    • ‘A horizontal staff team, consisting of the S2, fire support officer, and S4 is shown at battalion.’
    • ‘Because the structure of the Iraqi insurgency is horizontal as opposed to hierarchical, it cannot be decapitated.’
    1. 2.1 Merging companies that are engaged in the same stage or type of production.
      ‘a horizontal merger’
      • ‘It has consequently recognized explicitly the regulator's need to have comparisons by making very difficult any horizontal mergers in the English water industry.’
      • ‘These firms achieved most of their financial control through horizontal integration by acquiring the competition.’
      • ‘A horizontal merger may enable the new entity to set price and output in the same manner as a single-firm monopolist, with the same consequences for consumer welfare.’
      • ‘These include horizontal mergers of acute hospitals, mental health trusts, and community health services trusts.’
      • ‘They wanted to streamline operations, so his firm suggested a horizontal realignment of operations.’
      • ‘The key issue with horizontal mergers is that they may allow market power to be wielded, either by single-firm monopolists, or by collusive oligopolies.’
      • ‘Cooperation between vendors who even competed with each other is necessary to produce a horizontal solution.’
      • ‘Recent studies challenge value creation in conglomerate mergers, concluding that there are no synergies created through diversification or horizontal mergers.’
  • 3Of or at the horizon.

    ‘the horizontal moon’


  • A horizontal line, plane, etc.

    • ‘We've been trained to read a horizon where long horizontals prevail.’
    • ‘His alternation of horizontals and verticals plays like a musician's notes; each arrangement is a complex, nuanced reflection of universal and personal pathos and always more than the sum of its parts.’
    • ‘Nushu characters are structured by four kinds of strokes, including dots, horizontals, verticals and arcs.’
    • ‘The positioning of the diving board - coming at a diagonal out of the corner - gives perspective as well as cutting across the predominant horizontals.’
    • ‘In the pink-toned Wire Canyon Cutoff, for example, the matrix of interlaced verticals and horizontals suggests the warp and weft of a tapestry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Five thin horizontals seem to warp under the pressure of three verticals that are twice as wide.’
    • ‘This seems to be expressed in a language of horizontals representing time, and verticals representing a dimension perpendicular to time, in other words: eternity.’
    • ‘In another image, he paints himself as a Mondrian abstraction, the hints of his profile enough to jar the harmonious verticals and horizontals out of alignment.’
    • ‘This method in turn created the type of structural beauty, known as the ‘Mondrian pattern,’ which relies on the interplay of horizontals and verticals.’
    • ‘For your information, all verticals and horizontals run vertical and horizontal in those diagrams, and I've no idea what ‘axis’ you refer to.’
    • ‘The horizontals and verticals of the pattern extend to an autumnal woodland just beyond a sill which serves as a horizon in the middle distance.’
    • ‘The view outdoors was framed by the horizontals and verticals of the constructed space in which one stood.’
    • ‘Here, as in his design of a nautical centre at Bandol, the language is Modernist: floating horizontals, oversailing deck and dissolving glass wall.’
    • ‘The harmonious combination of diagonals, verticals, and horizontals produces an effect of solidity and permanence.’
    • ‘The camera was designed to confront the world in terms of traditional perspective views, with a painter's relation of horizontals and verticals.’
    • ‘If you want to make things more creative, you might even try mixing horizontals and verticals in the same assemblage or changing lenses between shots.’
    • ‘North and south faces of the building are also symmetrical but on the south the pattern of delicate verticals, floating horizontals and projections is more abstract, reminiscent of a Ben Nicholson.’
    • ‘Here and elsewhere, verticals and horizontals dominate, and the works feel structurally balanced.’
    • ‘The picture's vectors are mainly limited to short verticals and long horizontals, an interesting take on classical style.’
    centre line, vertical, horizontal
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Mid 16th century (in horizontal (sense 3 of the adjective)): from French, or from modern Latin horizontalis, from late Latin horizon, horizont- (see horizon).