Meaning of cubic in English:



  • 1Having the shape of a cube.

    ‘a cubic room’
    • ‘There's nothing new about his style, for it reminds me of Andri Masson's painting, especially the way he strokes the brush and plays with cubic shapes.’
    • ‘There are also a few huge boulders which were chiselled into cubic shapes centuries ago and now serve as surreal houses and stables.’
    • ‘They usually were of cubic shape, and were sealed with an airtight lock that ran three-quarters of the way around the middle of the box, leaving one side to hinge on.’
    • ‘La Defense is a strikingly modern part of Paris, dominated by the gleaming cubic shape of the Arche de la Defense.’
    • ‘Almost square in plan, the mosque has a flat roof, making it cubic in shape.’
    • ‘Like the others, the cubic room had two small beds, two desks, a row of different robes hanging from hooks, and a band of light-refracting crystal lining the wall.’
    • ‘When the offending device had finally been removed, she didn't notice even then; her mind had been made as pure as the cubic room she was contained in.’
    • ‘Even though there was a complete absence of light, somehow Terry knew that he was in a cubic room, and there was no way to get out.’
    • ‘The food had been made into small rectangular, spherical or cubic portions, in contrast to those consumed by American or Russian astronauts, who sucked food from tube-type containers.’
    • ‘Into this cubic void, subsidiary planes of glass are placed so that the immediate lobby reads as a transparent box inside a larger, virtual box.’
    • ‘The upper portion of the portal is formed by a composition of squares and cubic inscriptions in carved relief.’
    • ‘The main villain is Doctor Cube, who wears a white cubic helmet with a frowning visage that resembles an embittered smiley face.’
    • ‘Located in a sprawling storefront loft on Sherbrooke just west of St-Denis, the glass-fronted cubic space with ultra-high ceilings has a museum-of-the-future feel to it.’
    • ‘The main corridor then leads past two shops featuring clothing, perfumes, jewelry and souvenirs, and a double row of cubic insets displaying colorful Greek rocks and gems.’
    • ‘This ratio, one of his own devising, has remained virtually constant in all of his cubic openwork structures.’
    • ‘That was too familiar and so were the cubic structures that rose out of the ground.’
    • ‘The five-story addition echoes the existing cubic structure and is connected to it by a two-story link that will house several galleries and public spaces.’
    • ‘The cool rationality of the grid spells order and control - no mysterious darkness or dirty corners - and the geometry of the cubic masses registers timeless perfection.’
    • ‘It turns out that these metal-organic building blocks crystallize in the form of a three-dimensional grid with very large cubic cavities.’
    • ‘The work is described as a large cubic structure that can be triggered by a control unit to affect the earth's speed of rotation.’
    quadrilateral, rectangular, oblong, right-angled, at right angles, perpendicular
    1. 1.1Denoting a crystal system or three-dimensional geometrical arrangement having three equal axes at right angles.
      ‘the sodium and chloride ions form two intersecting cubic structures’
      • ‘She noted that many dark purple to nearly black cubic crystals exhibit a stairstep growth pattern.’
      • ‘Another relatively new discovery is pyrite as attractive, sharp, cubic crystals, to 1 cm on edge, altered to goethite.’
      • ‘Groups of well-formed octahedrally modified cubic crystals were found, with individuals to 3.5 cm across.’
      • ‘Although it exhibits cubic crystal symmetry, its optical behavior is not identical in all orientations.’
      • ‘Diamonds, pyrite and garnet are examples of cubic crystals.’
      • ‘Single brilliant, striated, cubic crystals to 2.5 cm on edge were found in soft greasy masses of pyrophyllite that was easily removed from the specimens.’
      • ‘The Lena River in Yakutsk, Russia, is another classic source of cubic crystals.’
      • ‘At this temperature the lattice constant of the cubic structure progressively decreases with increasing temperature.’
      • ‘During the last four years we made several unsuccessful attempts to locate additional groups of cubic copper crystals.’
      • ‘Diamond is also a light material whose atoms are covalently bonded and arrayed in a cubic structure, whereas osmium is heavy, metallic, and has hexagonally organized atoms.’
      • ‘Based on x-ray diffraction data, the authors concluded that the observed aggregates represented dispersed particles of cubic structure.’
      • ‘Between 417°C and its melting point of 1493°C, cobalt has a face-centered cubic structure.’
      • ‘Suppose a walker stands at a vertex of a three-dimensional cubic grid.’
      • ‘Most of these specimens exhibit crystals that are cubic in habit; however, octahedra of both blue-gray and medium green have also been common.’
      • ‘Exceptionally sharp groups of skeletal cubic silver crystals have been collected from surface exposures near the Copper Falls mine.’
      • ‘Some of the gold formed discrete isolated crystals to 2 mm perched on tiny cubic pyrite crystals in vugs that range to 1 cm across.’
      • ‘Some of these larger crystals are elongate, giving them a tetragonal rather than cubic appearance.’
      • ‘Sphalerite is cubic with crystals commonly tetrahedral or dodecahedral and frequently complex and distorted.’
      • ‘When sufficient alloying element is added, it is possible to preserve the face-centered cubic austenite at room temperature, either in a stable or metastable condition.’
      • ‘Table salt, for example, has a characteristically cubic crystalline shape that can be observed with the naked eye.’
  • 2Denoting a unit of measurement equal to the volume of a cube whose side is one of the linear units specified.

    ‘15 billion cubic metres of water’
    • ‘At 4:35 pm, the flow volume reached 750 cubic metres per second.’
    • ‘A 737 freighter can carry about 16 tonnes, and has about 120 cubic metres of volume.’
    • ‘The pool takes up a volume of 66 cubic metres and weighs over 80 metric tons.’
    • ‘Basra's water authority is constructing 12 small purification units that will eventually produce 25 cubic meters of clean water every hour.’
    • ‘For eight months up to eight Russian and international volunteers at a time called their combined 300 cubic metre volume home.’
    • ‘Webster's would say that volume is the amount of space occupied by a three-dimensional figure as measured in cubic units.’
    • ‘Other units, such as cubic meters or imperial gallons, can be converted to the U.S. barrel fairly easily.’
    • ‘They sprayed the flow with 6 million cubic meters of water, hoping to cool the lava enough - by about 50 degrees Celsius - so that it would solidify.’
    • ‘The Adamstown Treatment Plant, at Kilmeaden will be duplicated, thus increasing its output capacity from 32,500 to 53,000 cubic metres of water per day.’
    • ‘Two thousand Vietnamese rivers carry nearly a trillion cubic meters of water to the sea every year, fed by rains that in some parts of the country total an astonishing 10 feet a year.’
    • ‘The treatment plant currently processes 1.2 million cubic metres of water a day, representing 40 per cent of the total water used in Hong Kong each day.’
    • ‘It is estimated that a million cubic meters of water is capable of creating 200 jobs in direct and indirect agriculturally generated occupations.’
    • ‘As the earth's crust was forced upwards, it displaced hundreds of cubic metres of water along an area as large as 1000 km long and 100 km wide.’
    • ‘Lacking some 2.6 billion cubic metres of water a year, Shaanxi Province is suffering from insufficient rainfall and a low water utilization ratio.’
    • ‘This waterfall is over 1,700 meters wide and drops an average of 550,000 cubic meters of water over the edge every minute.’
    • ‘The per capita availability of water was 6,008 cubic metres in 1947.’
    • ‘One cubic metre of spruce weighs about 450 kilograms.’
    • ‘Bailing of the waste plastic will take place on site and each bail will measure about one cubic metre.’
    • ‘The price of the gas in Shanghai will be 1.32 yuan per cubic metre.’
    • ‘Let us consider the density of the egg to be 1.3 grams per cubic centimeter.’
  • 3Involving the cube (and no higher power) of a quantity or variable.

    ‘a cubic equation’
    • ‘The first person known to have solved cubic equations algebraically was del Ferro but he told nobody of his achievement.’
    • ‘Lagrange's main object was to find out why cubic and quartic equations could be solved algebraically.’
    • ‘He solved cubic equations by extending an algorithm for finding cube roots.’
    • ‘Like Mazur, Pesic starts at the beginning with the irrationality of square roots and proceeds to the solution of cubic and quartic equations.’
    • ‘Khayyam also wrote that he hoped to give a full description of the algebraic solution of cubic equations in a later work.’
    • ‘Historically, imaginary numbers first came to light when trying to solve cubic equations, rather than quadratics.’
    • ‘We are told that there are similar formulae for roots of cubic and quartic polynomial equations, but these are more complicated, and so, in school we are not taught these formulas.’
    • ‘What are the general solutions to cubic and quartic polynomial equations?’


  • A cubic equation, or a curve described by one.

    • ‘After subsequent work failed to solve equations of higher degree, Lagrange undertook an analysis in 1770 to explain why the methods for cubics and quartics are successful.’
    • ‘In this classification of cubics, Newton gives four classes of equation.’
    • ‘He wrote articles on such diverse topics as twisted cubics, developable surfaces, the theory of conics, the theory of plane curves, third- and fourth-degree surfaces, statics and projective geometry.’
    • ‘Cardan noticed something strange when he applied his formula to certain cubics.’
    • ‘The yield and tensile strengths of metals that crystallize in the body-centered cubic from iron, molybdenum, vanadium and chromium depend greatly on temperature.’


Late 15th century (in the sense ‘involving the cube (and no higher power)’): from Old French cubique, or via Latin from Greek kubikos, from kobos ‘cube’.