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Borrowing from Latin ērectus(upright), past participle of erigere(raise, set up), from e-(up) + regere(to direct, keep straight, guide).


erect (comparative more erect, superlative most erect)

  1. Upright; vertical or reaching broadly upwards.
    • Gibbon
      Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect — a column of ruins.
  2. Rigid, firm; standing out perpendicularly.
  3. (obsolete) Bold; confident; free from depression; undismayed.
    • Keble
      But who is he, by years / Bowed, but erect in heart?
  4. (obsolete) Directed upward; raised; uplifted.
    • Alexander Pope
      His piercing eyes, erect, appear to view / Superior worlds, and look all nature through.
  5. Watchful; alert.
    • Hooker
      vigilant and erect attention of mind
  6. (heraldry) Elevated, as the tips of wings, heads of serpents, etc.


  • (rigid; standing out perpendicularly): flaccid

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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.
  4. To lift up; to elevate; to exalt; to magnify.
    • Daniel
      that didst his state above his hopes erect
    • Dryden
      I, who am a party, am not to erect myself into a judge.
  5. To animate; to encourage; to cheer.
    • Barrow
      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.
    • Sir Thomas Browne
      to erect conclusions.
    • John Locke
      Malebranche erects this proposition.
  8. To set up or establish; to found; to form; to institute.
    • Hooker
      to erect a new commonwealth


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