• IPA(key): /ɪˈɹɛkt/
  • Rhymes: -ɛkt
  • Hyphenation: erect
  • (file)

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English erect, a borrowing from Latin ērectus (upright), past participle of ērigō (raise, set up), from ē- (out) + regō (to direct, keep straight, guide).


erect (comparative more erect, superlative most erect)

  1. Upright; vertical or reaching broadly upwards.
    • 1789, Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, volume 6, chapter 64.
      Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect — a column in a scene of ruins.
  2. (of body parts) Rigid, firm; standing out perpendicularly, especially as the result of stimulation.
    Synonyms: hard, stiff
    The penis should be fully erect before commencing copulation.
    erect nipples
  3. (of a man) Having an erect penis
    Synonyms: hard, stiff
    OK, baby, I'm erect now. Let's get it on!
  4. (obsolete) Bold; confident; free from depression; undismayed.
  5. (obsolete) Directed upward; raised; uplifted.
    • 1715, Alexander Pope, The Temple of Fame:
      His piercing eyes, erect, appear to view / Superior worlds, and look all nature through.
  6. Watchful; alert.
    • 1594, Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie
      vigilant and erect attention of mind
  7. (heraldry) Elevated, as the tips of wings, heads of serpents, etc.
  • (rigid; standing out perpendicularly): flaccid
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English erecten, from the adjective (see above).


erect (third-person singular simple present erects, present participle erecting, simple past and past participle erected)

  1. (transitive) To put up by the fitting together of materials or parts.
    to erect a house or a fort
  2. (transitive) To cause to stand up or out.
  3. To raise and place in an upright or perpendicular position; to set upright; to raise.
    to erect a pole, a flagstaff, a monument, etc.
    1. (aviation, of a gyroscopic attitude indicator) To spin up and align to vertical.
      As soon as electrical power was restored, the attitude indicators' gyros would have begun to erect.
  4. To lift up; to elevate; to exalt; to magnify.
  5. To animate; to encourage; to cheer.
    • a. 1677, Isaac Barrow, Of Contentment (sermon)
      It raiseth the dropping spirit, erecting it to a loving complaisance.
  6. (astrology) To cast or draw up (a figure of the heavens, horoscope etc.).
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 332:
      In 1581 Parliament made it a statutory felony to erect figures, cast nativities, or calculate by prophecy how long the Queen would live or who would succeed her.
  7. To set up as an assertion or consequence from premises, etc.
    • 1650, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica: [], 2nd edition, London: [] A. Miller, for Edw[ard] Dod and Nath[aniel] Ekins, [], OCLC 152706203:
      from fallacious foundations, and misapprehended mediums, erecting conclusions no way inferrible from their premises
    • a. 1705, John Locke, “An Examination of P[ère] Malebranche’s Opinion of Seeing All Things in God”, in Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: [], London: [] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, [], published 1706, OCLC 6963663:
      Malebranche erects this proposition.
  8. To set up or establish; to found; to form; to institute.
    • 1594, Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie
      to erect a new commonwealth
    • 1812, Arthur Collins & Sir Egerton Brydges, Peerage of England, F.C. and J. Rivington et al, page 330:
      In 1686, he was appointed one of the Commissioners in the new ecclesiastical commission erected by King James, and was proud of that honour.
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Derived termsEdit