Pronunciation: (sē'ling), [key]
1. the overhead interior surface of a room.
2. the top limit imposed by law on the amount of money that can be charged or spent or the quantity of goods that can be produced or sold.
3. Aeron.
a. the maximum altitude from which the earth can be seen on a particular day, usually equal to the distance between the earth and the base of the lowest cloud bank.
b. Also called absolute ceiling. the maximum altitude at which a particular aircraft can operate under specified conditions.
4. Meteorol.the height above ground level of the lowest layer of clouds that cover more than half of the sky.
5. a lining applied for structural reasons to a framework, esp. in the interior surfaces of a ship or boat.
6. Also called ceil'ing piece". Theat.the ceiling or top of an interior set, made of cloth, a flat, or two or more flats hinged together.
7. the act or work of a person who makes or finishes a ceiling.
8. vaulting, as in a medieval church.
9. hit the ceiling, Informal.to become enraged: When he saw the amount of the bill, he hit the ceiling.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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