angle of elevation

Definition of Angle of Elevation


The word “elevation” means “rise” or “move up”.

Angle of elevation is the angle between the horizontal and the line of sight to an object above the horizontal.

Take a look at the example below.

Example - Angle of Elevation


In the picture below, an observer is standing at the top of a building and looking straight ahead at the birds (horizontal line). The observer must raise his eyes to see the airplane (slanting line).


The angle formed between the two lines is called the angle of elevation.


Solved Example on Angle of Elevation


The angle of elevation of the top of a pole measures 48° from a point on the ground 18 ft away from its base. Find the height of the flagpole.




Step 1: Let’s first visualize the situation.


Step 2: Let ‘x’ be the height of the flagpole.



Step 4: Þ x = 18 × tan 48° = 18 × 1.11061… = 19.99102…» 20


Step 5: So, the flagpole is about 20 ft high.


Related Terms for Angle of Depression

  • Angle
  • Horizontal Line