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[ver-tij-uh-nuh s] /vərˈtɪdʒ ə nəs/
whirling; spinning; rotary:
vertiginous currents of air.
affected with vertigo; dizzy.
liable or threatening to cause vertigo:
a vertiginous climb.
apt to change quickly; unstable:
a vertiginous economy.
Origin of vertiginous
1600-10; < Latin vertīginōsus dizzy, equivalent to vertīgin- (stem of vertīgō) vertigo + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
vertiginously, adverb
vertiginousness, noun
unvertiginous, adjective
unvertiginously, adverb
unvertiginousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vertiginous
  • vertiginous people should start moving about cautiously when the spinning stops.
  • His buildings swoop and soar with vertiginous curves and startling precipices that seem to defy gravity.
  • Undulating, roughly carved ceiling beams add to the vertiginous sensation.
  • At first, this produces an interesting vertiginous sensation.
  • Sure enough, their political rise has been vertiginous.
  • Each of three new books treats a different aspect of that vertiginous period.
  • The city's vertiginous topography creates views galore, both large-scale and small.
  • Transport costs are a small fraction of labor costs, but they are now rebounding from a vertiginous plunge over the winter.
  • But there was also the kind of apprehension that steadily builds during the slow ascent toward the ride's first vertiginous dip.
  • vertiginous roads wind along both rims of the canyon, giving you the opportunity to pull over at any of several scenic belvederes.
British Dictionary definitions for vertiginous


of, relating to, or having vertigo
producing dizziness
changeable; unstable
Derived Forms
vertiginously, adverb
vertiginousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin vertīginōsus, from vertigo
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vertiginous

c.1600, "of the nature of vertigo," from French vertigineux, from Latin vertiginosus "suffering from dizziness," from vertigo (see vertigo).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vertiginous in Medicine

vertiginous ver·tig·i·nous (vər-tĭj'ə-nəs)

  1. Affected by vertigo; dizzy.

  2. Tending to produce vertigo.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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