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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The mouth is enclosed by an immense cage, intended to preserve the beholder from the vertiginous attractions of its depth.

    Old and New Paris, v. 2 Henry Sutherland Edwards
  • The vertiginous noise in the ears has been explained in Section XX.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I Erasmus Darwin
  • How has it been possible for us to travel along that vertiginous road which knows no return?

    Marie Tarnowska Annie Vivanti
  • Then the vertiginous motion of the human top would overpower the force of gravitation.

  • The sense of the vertiginous gulf was abiding with him; read his poem, "Pascal avait son gouffre."

    Egoists James Huneker
  • But it is very humorous in itself, and the extensions and applications of it are illimitable and vertiginous.

  • But out of this mazy, vertiginous mass of thinking no satisfaction ever came.

    The Journal of a Disappointed Man Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion
  • And a fellow who isn't afraid of anything; a kind of squirrel, just as he is who climbs to vertiginous heights to shake down nuts.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • The vertiginous rapidity of his wife's developments, manoeuvres and transformations had dazed him into a sort of numbed idiocy.

    Mr. Prohack E. Arnold Bennett
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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