ceiling


ceiling
ceiling
1. Ceiling has been used by government departments and administrators since the 1930s to mean ‘an upper limit’ (as in a ceiling on prices), and is sometimes contrasted with floor, which is a lower limit. As with target, care needs to be taken not to couch it in contexts that are incongruous: a ceiling can be reached, for example, or raised or lowered or adjusted, or can be high or low or unrealistic, but it cannot (without absurd effect) be extended or exceeded or increased. It is also unwise to associate it with words that are also associated with it in its literal use, such as suspend.
2. A glass ceiling has been used since the 1980s, originally in AmE and increasingly in BrE, to symbolize a notional barrier to professional advancement, especially affecting women and members of minorities:

• For most top amateurs there is a glass ceiling on the professional circuit, and it does not take them long to hit it —Economist, 1995.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ceiling — Ceil ing, n. [See {Cell}, v. t.] 1. (Arch.) (a) The inside lining of a room overhead; the under side of the floor above; the upper surface opposite to the floor. (b) The lining or finishing of any wall or other surface, with plaster, thin boards …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ceiling — bezeichnet: Hauptwolkenuntergrenze (engl. ceiling), ein meteorologischer Begriff Ceiling Effekt in der Pharmakologie oder empirischen Sozialwissenschaft Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit de …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ceiling — I noun acme, altitude, apex, apogee, climax, culmination, extreme, extremity, farthest point, height, highest degree, highest point, limit, maximum, optimum, peak, pinnacle, record, roof, summit, tectum, top, ultimate, utmost, utmost extent,… …   Law dictionary

  • ceiling — [sē′liŋ] n. [< CEIL] 1. the inside top part or covering of a room, opposite the floor 2. any overhanging expanse seen from below 3. an upper limit set on anything, as by official regulation [a ceiling on prices] 4. Aeron. a) a cover …   English World dictionary

  • ceiling — mid 14c., celynge, paneling, any interior surface of a building, noun formed (with ING (Cf. ing)) from M.E. borrowing of M.Fr. verb celer to conceal, cover with paneling (12c.), from L. celare (see CELL (Cf. cell)); probably influenced by L.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ceiling — [n1] top of a room baldachin, beam, canopy, covert, dome, fan vaulting, groin, highest point, housetop, plafond, planchement, plaster, roof, roofing, timber, topside covering; concept 440 Ant. floor ceiling [n2] maximum legal price, record,… …   New thesaurus

  • ceiling — ► NOUN 1) the upper inside surface of a room. 2) an upper limit set on prices, wages, or expenditure. 3) the maximum altitude an aircraft can reach. ORIGIN from obsolete ceil line or plaster the roof of (a building) , perhaps from Latin celare… …   English terms dictionary

  • Ceiling — For other uses, see Ceiling (disambiguation). A ceiling (pronounced /ˈsiːlɪŋ/) is an overhead interior surface that covers the upper limit of a room. It is generally not a structural element, but a finished surface concealing the underside of the …   Wikipedia

  • ceiling — An upper limit for a variable. For example, an adjustable rate mortgage may have a ceiling of 10 percent. In this case, the rate can be adjusted however the loan terms provide without exceeding 10 percent. Also called a cap. American Banker… …   Financial and business terms

  • ceiling — noun 1 top surface inside a room ADJECTIVE ▪ high, low, tall (AmE) ▪ cathedral (= a high ceiling with open space up to the roof) (AmE), domed, sloped (AmE), sloping (BrE) …   Collocations dictionary