/ˈzɛn.ɪθ/, /ˈzi.nɪθ/
noun, singular
plural – zeniths

Derived forms

adj. zenithal
adv. zenithally


1. (in astronomy) A point in the sky (or celestial sphere) which is directly above a given point or observer. Highest point reached by a celestial body.
2. Point in which something is at its strongest; point of culmination or success.


apogee, apex, peak, pinnacle, summit, acme, top, climax, tip, vertex


nadir, perigee

Word origin

The word derived from Arabic ‘samt,’ meaning direction. It then transitioned through a variety of languages (Old Spanish, Medieval Latin and French) with slight changes before becoming a Middle English word ‘cenyth.’


Even though it is an astronomical term, it is also used as a replacement for words denoting success or peak. It is important to note that ‘zenith’ is often contrasted by ‘nadir,’ its direct counterpart. In layman’s terms, ‘nadir’ is simply the lowest point; position directly below a given point or observer.

Examples of sentences containing ‘zenith’