|a plane whose angle to the horizontal is less than a right angle|
|inclined plane (ĭn'klīnd') Pronunciation Key
A plane surface, such as a ramp or a blade, set at an acute angle to a horizontal surface, a direction of motion, or a direction of force. Inclined planes are used to increase the distance over which work is done, reducing the amount of force needed to impart energy to a system. Rolling a car up a hill, for example, requires less force than lifting it straight up off the ground. Many tools, such as the ax, wedge, chisel, and highway ramp, exploit the mechanical properties of the inclined plane.