As the title says, I'm looking for a word that means "having horizontal and vertical directions."

The catch is that I'm a mathematician trying to describe notions similar to "horizontality" and "verticality" to other mathematicians, so there is an extra criterion: the word should not have a common specifically mathematical meaning. For example, "planar" and "orthogonal" might be passible when talking to non-mathematicians, but their use when talking to a mathematician would probably cause confusion.

Edit: to reiterate, the word should not have an existing common mathematical meaning.

  • 2
    Why is two-dimensional unacceptable?
    – jxh
    Dec 31, 2015 at 23:55
  • 1
    Yes, but what about the existing meaning makes its use unclear?
    – jxh
    Dec 31, 2015 at 23:56
  • 4
    You are looking for words to "describe notions similar to 'horizontality' and 'verticality'". Either define "similar", if it is important or, if it is not, why not use the words "horizontality" and "verticality"? The question is not as clear as it should be. Or are you looking for a single word to describe something that has both horizontality and verticality? Not clear.
    – Drew
    Jan 1, 2016 at 1:52
  • 1
    Horizontality and verticality are not mathematical concepts, therefore there are no mathematical terms for the concepts. Similarly, there is no mathematical term for "a poached egg" either.
    – Flater
    Sep 21, 2017 at 11:35
  • 1
    There is not sufficient information in this question for me to understand what is being asked. An example should help clarify it.
    – AndyT
    Sep 21, 2017 at 13:27

13 Answers 13


So you're a mathematician with a new idea in need of a name. You're looking for a word that reminds people of horizontal and vertical but you don't want to use any existing mathematical words to avoid confusion. You want a word, new to mathematics, that will just be for your idea.

I have one. It certainly evokes horizontal and vertical. It's a familiar word. It has no usage in mathematics that I know of.


  1. : a rectangular length of tartan worn over the left shoulder as part of the Scottish national costume


  1. a. : a twilled woolen fabric with a tartan pattern

    b. : a fabric with a pattern of tartan or an imitation of tartan


  1. a : tartan 1

    b : a pattern of unevenly spaced repeated stripes crossing at right angles


It may seem odd but it's no stranger than dark matters WIMPs and MACHOs.

Similarly you can make up a backronym to justify it.

Planar Linear Array of Irreducible Dimensions?


Perhaps a term from astronomy, surveying and navigation could be wedged into service with (I speculate because the OP does not provide an example sentence wherein the word would be used) or without appropriate compounding. That term is

altazimuth, n.
Chiefly Astron.
A telescope mounted so as to move in both a vertical and a horizontal plane, used to determine the altitude and the azimuth of a star or other distant object, or (in surveying) to determine vertical and horizontal angles more precisely than a theodolite. Also: a mounting characteristic of such an instrument, an altazimuth mounting.

["altazimuth, n.". OED Online. December 2015. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/5764?redirectedFrom=altazimuth (accessed January 01, 2016).]

'Altazimuth' has been in use in English since 1851. Attested compounds in OED Online other than the "altazimuth mounting" already mentioned include these:

  • altazimuth clock (1851)
  • altazimuth instrument (1860)
  • altazimuth theodolyte (1927: attested in "Geogr. Jrnl. 69 140 On the first look one's thoughts immediately go to the altazimuth theodolite, and one is tempted to regard the dioptra as the first of such instruments." op. cit.)
  • altazimuth axes (1964)
  • altazimuth bracket (2001)

Having a similar problem trying to come up with a single word for a line either being horizontal or vertical in a computer program. To solve it I've mashed them into hoverzontical. If you think that's bad, please consider that I rejected hovertizontical despite the fact that it retains every sound, in order, of both words.

In my Java program, I can now replace the ubiquitous

 !isHorizontal() && !isVertical()

with the more compact


In case you are wondering, in Java, '!' means NOT and '&&' means AND. I am not submitting this program for a Code Review. I am hiding it forever.

  • Good job on hiding it Reg. No-one will ever know. It's not like you posted it on the internet with a picture of your koala face and your location in Cork, Ireland.
    – AndyT
    Sep 21, 2017 at 14:25
  • Unless you have lines that are both horizontal and vertical, !isHorizontal() || !isVertical() will always evaluate to true. If you want to take the negation of A||B, you have to not only negate A and B, but also change || to &&. Sep 21, 2017 at 16:32
  • 1
    @AndyT Ah, it is so easy to lose myself in the herds of Koalas around here!
    – Ger
    Sep 21, 2017 at 19:54
  • @Acccumulation Well spotted! A silly mistake!
    – Ger
    Sep 21, 2017 at 19:57

I did not know it was even a word, but it seems axised means "having (an) axis(es)."

Be careful though, since it is not a common word it might not be understood. It might be better to use a multi-word variant like "with axes"

  • when I see axised for some reason I am immediately reminded of axis powers, so I think some people would at first glance think this as well
    – psosuna
    Sep 21, 2017 at 16:25

You can say it has a map projection. This borrows usage from geographical representations of the world:

Commonly, a map projection is a systematic transformation of the latitudes and longitudes of locations on the surface of a sphere or an ellipsoid into locations on a plane.

  • Unfortunately, "map projection" has an unusually pertinent meaning in my case, where I'm describing directions on something called a "fiber bundle." Jan 1, 2016 at 0:09
  • I don't think you have accurately described your use case then. Are you talking about a parametric equation with two dimensions?
    – jxh
    Jan 1, 2016 at 5:56

The J (Juliet) and P (Papa) flag semaphores convey the notion of horizontality and verticality conventionally. Either one could be used, I expect:

J (Juliet)


P (Papa)

enter image description here

(From Wikipedia.)

To ward off possible misinterpretations of, for example, the compound "Juliet flag semaphore", the entire communication could be encapsulated and transmitted over the internet using IETF RFC 4824.

Or, for the British mathematicians, this version of Wuthering Heights might clear up any confusion.


quadrille graph paper consists of horizontal and vertical lines

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    – user140086
    Jan 1, 2016 at 4:02

Omnidirectional is an engineering term; often used to describe something that emanates in all directions.

omni- |ˈɒmni| combining form

all; of all things: omniscient | omnifarious.

• in all ways or places: omnicompetent | omnipresent.

ORIGIN from Latin omnis ‘all’.

directional |dɪˈrɛkʃ(ə)n(ə)l, dʌɪ-| adjective

1. relating to or indicating the direction in which someone or something is situated or moving: directional signs wherever two paths joined.

• relating to, influencing, or exemplifying the latest trends in fashion: a directional womenswear designer.

2. having a particular direction of motion, progression, or orientation: coiling the wire permits directional flow of the magnetic flux.

• relating to, denoting, or designed for the projection, transmission, or reception of light, radio, or sound waves in or from a particular direction or directions: a directional microphone.

Oxford Dictionary of English
Copyright © 2010, 2013 by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


How about T-shaped or L-shaped? Both of these capital letters consist of just a single horizontal line and a single vertical line - they are the only two capital letters in the English alphabet to do so.

T-shaped has been used to describe a person's personality, namely the breadth and depth of it.

Both are the shapes of instruments used by builders to construct right-angles.

  • @AndyT; done it
    – JMP
    Sep 21, 2017 at 16:25

It seems to me that this is an appropriate situation to use the suffix "quasi."

If you say "quasi-horizontal" or "quasi-vertical," you will make clear that you are not using the word in its exact meaning, but suggesting a strong conceptual similarity in some regard. An example from economics is "quasi-rent," which describes a return due to a relatively prolonged scarcity from something that is not land.


From your comments to others, it appears that you are looking for something like the N-T (normal-tangential) coordinate system. You could also try oriented (from orient, dictionary.com definition 6) or directional.


Many times in science we create neologisms with Latin or Greek roots.

In Latin, two-dimensional is duo dimensiva.

An archaic form of dimensional is dimensive.

So, I would propose a neologism of either Bidimensive or Didimensive.

The bi or di prefix implies two and dimensive would be for dimensional.

  • It is customary and common courtesy to put an explanation with a down vote. The practice I am suggesting is a commonly accepted practice used all of the time in science, medicine, and mathematics.
    – AMR
    Jan 1, 2016 at 0:46
  • I'm the second downvoter. I voted down because there is no source provided for the word, so I assume it is a neologism. And I don't like how it's formed, so I would recommend against using it. As for why I don't like it: it looks like it should just be a synonym to "two-dimensional," I don't understand the reason for using the archaic form "dimensive," and "di-" is, from what I understand, generally more appropriate with Greek roots. If it were an attested word, I wouldn't cast a down vote based on my own opinion, but I don't see any other basis for voting on invented words.
    – herisson
    Jan 1, 2016 at 5:25
  • The OP's stipulation is "Edit: to reiterate, the word should not have an existing common mathematical meaning." There is almost no word that hasn't already been used, such as planar, two-dimensional, map projection, etc. that does not already have a meaning. Dimensive means dimensional merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dimensive and Bi is a prefix meaning two, such as bimodal, bidirectional, bipolar, etc. Di is also a Latin prefix, from Greek that means two merriam-webster.com/dictionary/di such as dideoxynucleic acid, meaning missing two oxygen atoms.
    – AMR
    Jan 1, 2016 at 6:26
  • And we use plenty of neologisms every day. I googled; They photoshopped; Meme; Prion; Laser; Radar; Geosynchronous, etc.
    – AMR
    Jan 1, 2016 at 6:30

What about 'having the coordinates of'?

  • 1
    Please add an explanation of why that would be a good idea. Otherwise this will likely be deleted.
    – Helmar
    Sep 21, 2017 at 14:25

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