Definition of ordinate in English:


Pronunciation /ˈôrd(ə)nət/ /ˈɔrd(ə)nət/


  • (in a system of coordinates) the y-coordinate, representing the distance from a point to the horizontal or x-axis measured parallel to the vertical or y-axis.

    ‘The negative and positive signs on the ordinate mean, respectively, underestimation and overestimation of the expected values.’
    • ‘Time in minutes is plotted along the abscissa and the cumulative number of responses is plotted on the ordinate.’
    • ‘The ordinate indicates additive effects on each trait estimated by interval mapping.’
    • ‘The ordinate represents yearly expenditures on a constant dollar basis.’
    • ‘Note that in C and D the abscissa and ordinate are swapped for presentation.’


Late 17th century from Latin linea ordinata applicata ‘line applied parallel’, from ordinare ‘put in order’.