1. Being in a vertical, upright position: an erect lily stalk; an erect posture.
2. Being in a stiff, rigid physiological condition, especially as the result of sexual stimulation.
tr.v. e·rect·ed, e·rect·ing, e·rects
1. To construct by assembling: erect a skyscraper.
2. To raise to a rigid or upright condition.
3. To fix in an upright position.
4. To set up; establish: erect a dynasty.
5. Mathematics To construct (a perpendicular, for example) from or on a given base.
[Middle English, from Latin ērēctus, past participle of ērigere, to set up : ē-, ex-, ex- + regere, to guide; see reg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.