Definition of vertiginous in English:



  • 1Extremely high or steep.

    ‘vertiginous drops to the valleys below’
    • ‘Perched on a rock precipice, the site is unassailable from three sides, with a vertiginous 1000 feet drop at one end.’
    • ‘Their journey is over high mountain passes, through the narrowest of ridges with vertiginous drops on either side.’
    • ‘Suddenly, just ahead, it plunged down into the most vertiginous descent I'd ever seen, not counting the Drop Zone at the local amusement park.’
    • ‘Whereas Light Extracts took you from vertiginous loops to sheer noise terror, Connected's delights emerge in the details.’
    • ‘We made our way along a vertiginous precipice, the vast drainage of Muddy Creek spread below us like some scarlet kingdom.’
    • ‘This year's vertiginous drop in the Nasdaq market has caused Shin to rethink its timing, but its preparations are well advanced.’
    • ‘Be sure to pay a visit to the cliffs at Old Head of Kinsale as you head out, but beware - their vertiginous drop will put Blarney Castle in the shade.’
    • ‘To reach the outside world, you have to drive 50 miles of vertiginous, winding canyon roads, where cell-phone service is dodgy at best.’
    • ‘Hadid's graphics remind me of the steep perspectives and vertiginous sweep of illustrations in science fiction comics.’
    • ‘Where Calvino's book explores the vertiginous possibilities of literature, Cloud Atlas is about humankind's possibilities.’
    • ‘And the percentage of total births that are illegitimate has held relatively steady in recent years, after a vertiginous 50-year climb.’
    • ‘As in the New York skyscraper photographs that followed, Church Street El features the blank faces of several buildings seen from a steep vertiginous view.’
    steep, sheer, high, perpendicular, abrupt, sharp, dizzy, vertical, bluff
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    1. 1.1 Relating to or affected by vertigo.
      • ‘Often using samples with their pitch shifted upwards, he makes the tracks ripple around Jay-Z's voice, lighter than air and slightly vertiginous.’
      • ‘The other sightseers will not distract you as you gaze in awed silence (or perhaps vertiginous terror) at the fairy-tale islands of rock amidst the cloud.’
      • ‘Although it is tempting to get close to the edge the terrain is daunting - a 12m drop deters clumsy, vertiginous or litigious tourists.’
      • ‘I felt vertiginous just looking up at the ceiling.’
      • ‘In this vertiginous mode, Armantrout can sound less like other ‘Language writers’ than like an improbably terse stand-up comic.’
      • ‘As she lifted herself up from the computer console, walking towards her cabin in a dizzy, almost vertiginous way, she tripped on a sharp object.’


Early 17th century: from Latin vertiginosus, from vertigo ‘whirling about’ (see vertigo).