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1. the inner upper surface of a room
a. an upper limit, such as one set by regulation on prices or wages
b. (as modifier): ceiling prices
3. the upper altitude to which an aircraft can climb measured under specified conditions
4. Meteorol the highest level in the atmosphere from which the earth's surface is visible at a particular time, usually the base of a cloud layer
5. a wooden or metal surface fixed to the interior frames of a vessel for rigidity
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


The undercovering of a roof or floor; generally concealing the structural members from the room or roof above, or the underside surface. It may have a flat or curved surface, and be self-supporting, suspended from the floor above, or supported from hidden or exposed beams.

exposed ceiling

A ceiling in which all the structural and mechanical systems are left exposed, either in their natural state or painted.

false ceiling

A ceiling suspended or hung from the floor above, which hides the underneath structure and provides a space for the mechanical systems, wires and ducts.

luminous ceiling

A system in which the whole ceiling is translucent with lamps that are installed above and suspended from a structural ceiling.

suspended ceiling

A nonstructural ceiling suspended below the overhead structural slab or from the structural elements of a building and not bearing on the walls.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the overhead inside lining of a room; a group of structural elements forming a secondary covering that is suspended from the roof.

Ceilings’ may be smooth or have projecting ribs, coffers, or other sculptured details. Smooth ceilings may or may not cover beams. They are made from plaster, boards, or sheeting materials. Suspended ceilings are used mainly to provide better sound absorption and to increase the sound insulation of the roof. They also conceal ventilation ducts, heating pipes, and electrical wiring. Such ceilings are used as decorative elements in interior design.

In modern mass-scale housing construction, the smoothing of seams and painting constitute the principal method for finishing ceilings made of slabs and panels. In public buildings, ceilings are more and more often being faced with slab materials having good acoustic properties. Such materials include perforated aluminum panels and porous plasterboard with a sound-absorbent fiberglass layer. In a room whose ceiling serves as an element of interior design, more decorative painted or sculptured finishes are used.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(building construction)
The covering made of plaster, boards, or other material that constitutes the overhead surface in a room.
The smallest integer that is equal to or greater than a given real number a ; symbolized ⌈ a ⌉.
In the United States, the height ascribed to the lowest layer of clouds or of obscuring phenomena when it is reported as broken, overcast, or obscuration and not classified as thin or partial.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The overhead surface of a room, usually a covering or decorative treatment used to conceal the floor above or the roof.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


i. The height above the ground or water of the base of the lowest layer of cloud below 6000 m (20,000 ft), covering more than half the sky (ICAO). The term also refers to the vertical visibility in a surface-based layer that completely obscures the whole sky, whichever is lesser.
ii. The highest pressure altitude that can be reached by an aircraft, excepting a zoom climb. At this altitude, the aircraft rate of climb is zero. Also called absolute ceiling.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
A financial innovation that had an even more profound effect on the empirical relevance of the credit view was money market mutual funds (MMMFs).(33) Two factors gave impetus to the creation of MMMFs: the high inflation of the 1970s, which became embedded in market expectations, and the rise of market interest rates to levels much higher than those permitted by Regulation Q interest rate ceilings. The resulting outflow of deposits from banks into MMMFs had two consequences for the credit view.
The estimated coefficients also suggest that a decrease in the maximum amount of income that may be garnished or assigned to the lender increases the loan interest rate as long as the interest rate ceiling is above 21 percent.
Interest rate ceilings are imposed on borrowers by state governments.
Interest rate ceilings on deposits, if binding, remove the opportunity to compete since a new entrant cannot attract the inefficient incumbent's customers by offering a better interest rate.
'But it is clear from the report that they have failed to consider key issues concerning the operation of interest rate ceilings that should have been picked up if they had read the literature available from the USA and Germany.
When interest rates went up and impinged upon the interest rate ceilings, the commercial banks could not raise money.
For years now, credit card companies have gotten around state-imposed interest rate ceilings by adopting a federal charter in a liberally regulated state (that's the reason why so many credit card issuers are based in Delaware).
During the time that interest rate ceilings were in effect, the impact of monetary policy on the housing market tended to occur more through credit availability effects than through an interest rate channel.
Interest rate ceilings and trading practices were controlled as well.
The interest rate ceilings on time deposits of less than seven days and constraints on banks providing benefits for deposits, such as gifts, were lifted in July last year.
To help homeowners and thrifts finance housing and create savings, Congress deliberately encouraged the industry to make long-term, fixed-rate home mortgage loans and to accept interest rate ceilings and short-term deposits backed by federal deposit insurance.
Historical comparisons of deposit rates can be tricky, in part because retail deposit rates were subject to interest rate ceilings before the 1980s.