Length vs. Height — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 19, 2023
Length refers to the extent of something from end to end, often horizontal. Height measures the distance from base to top, typically vertical.
Difference Between Length and Height
The concept of Length is versatile and is not strictly limited to horizontal measurements. For example, in certain contexts like a piece of string, length would describe the distance between its two ends, regardless of its orientation. However, Height consistently deals with verticality.
Summing it up, both Length and Height are essential terms in measurements. While they sometimes can be used interchangeably based on context, it's crucial to remember that Length often pertains to end-to-end measurement, and Height focuses on vertical stature.
In contrast, Height is a measure that pertains to how tall something is. This measurement is typically taken from the base to the top, and is often used to define objects or entities in a vertical context. For instance, when referring to a person, we discuss their height, not their length.
Length and Height are two terms commonly used to describe the dimensions of objects. While they both pertain to measurement, they are applied in distinct contexts. Length typically describes the extent of an object from one end to the other, often along a horizontal plane.
When discussing geographical features, Length might be used to describe the stretch of a river or coastline, while Height would describe the elevation of a mountain or hill. In architectural contexts, a building's length may refer to its longest side, but its height would describe its upward reach.
Extent from end to end.
Distance from base to top.
Can vary based on orientation.
Rivers, roads, ropes.
Mountains, buildings, people.
Rarely used, unless describing full body.
Commonly used to describe stature.
Extent in terms of importance or depth.
The novel explores the length and breadth of human emotions.
The quality of being tall or lofty.
He was admired for his height and stature.
Length is a measure of distance. In the International System of Quantities, length is a quantity with dimension distance.
A point or level of high rank or achievement.
She reached the height of her career.
The measurement or extent of something from end to end; the greater of two or the greatest of three dimensions of an object
The fish reaches a length of 10 inches
The delta is twenty kilometres in length
The utmost degree of intensity.
At the height of the argument, he stormed out.
The amount of time occupied by something
Delivery must be within a reasonable length of time
Height is measure of vertical distance, either vertical extent (how "tall" something or someone is) or vertical position (how "high" a point is). For example, "The height of that building is 50 m" or "The height of an airplane in-flight is about 10,000 m".
A piece or stretch of something
The surviving length of track
A length of brown satin
Abbr. h The distance from the base of something to the top.
An extreme to which a course of action is taken
They go to great lengths to avoid the press
Elevation above a given level, as of the sun or a star above the horizon; altitude.
The distance from the batsman at which a well-bowled ball pitches
Lewis tended to bowl short of a length
The condition or attribute of being relatively or sufficiently high or tall
Height is an advantage in basketball.
(in bridge or whist) the number of cards of a suit held in one's hand, especially when five or more
To open one heart with equal length in hearts and spades is in the modern Acol style
Stature, especially of the human body.
The state, quality, or fact of being long. See Usage Note at strength.
A hill, mountain, or other piece of ground that stands out from the surrounding land.
The measurement of the extent of something along its greatest dimension
The length of the boat.
A high point or position
Prices rose to stunning heights.
A piece, often of a standard size, that is normally measured along its greatest dimension
A length of cloth.
The highest or uppermost point; the summit or apex
Finally reached the height of the mountain.
A measure used as a unit to estimate distances
Won the race by a length.
The highest or most advanced degree; the zenith
At the height of her career.
Extent or distance from beginning to end
The length of a novel.
The length of a journey.
The point of highest intensity; the climax
The height of a storm.
The amount of time between specified moments; the duration
The length of a meeting.
(Obsolete) High rank, estate, or degree.
Often lengths Extent or degree to which an action or policy is carried
Went to great lengths to prove his point.
(Archaic) Loftiness of mind.
The duration of a vowel.
(Obsolete) Arrogance; hauteur
"He returned me a very resolute answer, and full of height" (Oliver Cromwell).
The duration of a syllable.
The distance from the base of something to the top.
The vertical extent of a garment. Often used in combination
The distance of something above the ground or some other chosen level.
We flew at a height of 15 000 meters.
The distance measured along the longest dimension of an object.
(phonetics) A quality of vowels, indicating the vertical position of the tongue relative to the roof of the mouth; in practice, the first formant, associated with the height of the tongue.
The vertical distance from the ground to the highest part of a standing person or animal (withers in the case of a horse).
(horse racing) The length of a horse, used to indicate the distance between horses at the end of a race.
The highest point or maximum degree.
She's at the height of her career.
(mathematics) Distance between the two ends of a line segment.
A high point.
(cricket) The distance down the pitch that the ball bounces on its way to the batsman.
A mountain, especially a very high one.
(figuratively) Total extent.
The length of a book
(Sussex) An area of land at the top of a cliff.
Part of something that is long; a physical piece of something.
A length of rope
(maths) The amplitude of a sine function
(theatre) A unit of script length, comprising 42 lines.
The condition of being high; elevated position.
Behold the height of the stars, how high they are!
(bridge) The number of cards held in a particular suit.
The distance to which anything rises above its foot, above that on which in stands, above the earth, or above the level of the sea; altitude; the measure upward from a surface, as the floor or the ground, of an animal, especially of a man; stature.
[Goliath's] height was six cubits and a span.
(obsolete) To lengthen.
Degree of latitude either north or south.
Guinea lieth to the north sea, in the same height as Peru to the south.
The longest, or longer, dimension of any object, in distinction from breadth or width; extent of anything from end to end; the longest line which can be drawn through a body, parallel to its sides; as, the length of a church, or of a ship; the length of a rope or line.
That which is elevated; an eminence; a hill or mountain; as, Alpine heights.
A portion of space or of time considered as measured by its length; - often in the plural.
Large lengths of seas and shores.
The future but a length behind the past.
Elevation in excellence of any kind, as in power, learning, arts; also, an advanced degree of social rank; preëminence or distinction in society; prominence.
Measure your mind's height by the shade it casts.
All would in his power hold, all make his subjects.
The quality or state of being long, in space or time; extent; duration; as, some sea birds are remarkable for the length of their wings; he was tired by the length of the sermon, and the length of his walk.
Progress toward eminence; grade; degree.
Social duties are carried to greater heights, and enforced with stronger motives by the principles of our religion.
A single piece or subdivision of a series, or of a number of long pieces which may be connected together; as, a length of pipe; a length of fence.
Utmost degree in extent; extreme limit of energy or condition; as, the height of a fever, of passion, of madness, of folly; the height of a tempest.
My grief was at the height before thou camest.
[He] spake these same words, all on hight.
Detail or amplification; unfolding; continuance as, to pursue a subject to a great length.
May Heaven, great monarch, still augment your blissWith length of days, and every day like this.
The vertical dimension of extension; distance from the base of something to the top
He had marched to the length of Exeter.
The highest level or degree attainable;
His landscapes were deemed the acme of beauty
The artist's gifts are at their acme
At the height of her career
The peak of perfection
Summer was at its peak
...catapulted Einstein to the pinnacle of fame
The summit of his ambition
So many highest superlatives achieved by man
At the top of his profession
Natural height of a person or animal in an upright position
The linear extent in space from one end to the other; the longest horizontal dimension of something that is fixed in place;
The length of the table was 5 feet
Elevation especially above sea level or above the earth's surface;
The altitude gave her a headache
Continuance in time;
The ceremony was of short duration
He complained about the length of time required
The measurement of someone or something from base to top.
The height of the tree is impressive.
The property of being the extent of something from beginning to end;
The editor limited the length of my article to 500 words
The altitude of a geographical point.
The height of the mountain is daunting for climbers.
Size of the gap between two places;
The distance from New York to Chicago
He determined the length of the shortest line segment joining the two points
A section of something that is long and narrow;
A length of timber
A length of tubing
The measurement of something from end to end.
The length of the table is six feet.
The duration of time.
The length of the movie surprised him.
A piece or segment of a particular extent.
She cut a length of ribbon for the gift.
The full extent or amount of something.
He went to great lengths to finish the project.
Is length always horizontal?
No, length can refer to any end-to-end measurement, but it's often horizontal.
Can height refer to depth?
No, depth is typically the opposite of height and measures downward.
How is length used in mathematics?
Length can refer to the magnitude of a vector or the size of an interval.
Can length and height be the same for an object?
Yes, a square or cube can have equal length and height.
What unit measures human height in the US?
In the US, feet and inches typically measure human height.
Is there a maximum height for humans?
Genetically and biologically, there are limits, but exact "maximum" is debatable.
How do you find the length of a curve?
Calculus techniques, like arc length, are used.
Is height the same as altitude?
Altitude is height above sea level, while height is a general measurement from base to top.
What affects a person's height?
Genetics, nutrition, and overall health play roles in determining height.
How does the length of daylight change?
It varies based on Earth's tilt and orbit, changing with seasons.
How is length different from width?
Length is the longest dimension, while width is typically shorter and perpendicular to length.
Can length describe a time duration?
Yes, e.g., "the length of a concert."
Are there tools to measure length and height?
Yes, rulers, tape measures, and calipers for length; stadiometers for height.
How are length and height used in geometry?
They describe dimensions of shapes and figures, crucial for area and volume calculations.
Why might an artist consider height in a painting?
To convey perspective and depth, enhancing realism.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.