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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
An unambiguous ranking of states by interest rate ceilings is not possible since rate ceilings typically vary by loan size and maturity.
For these five states the rate ceilings were further compared for various loan sizes between $200 and $2000 since over 70 percent of the loans in these states were in this range.
The second specification adds the legal variables-interest rate ceilings, late charges, presence of attorney's fees in the contract, and the maximum amount of monthly income that may be garnished or assigned to the lender-to the economic variables.
As interest rate ceilings rise, however, such restrictions are generally associated with a higher equilibrium interest rate.
The empirical results suggest that the effect of security for loans and restrictions on creditor remedies on the price and quantity of credit varies with the height of the legal interest rate ceiling. When interest rate ceilings are low, lenders are unable to raise loan rates above the ceiling to compensate for expected default losses associated with legal restrictions on garnishment, wage assignment, late charges, and attorney's fees.
Regulations governing the use of a variety of creditor remedies and the amount of future income of the borrower that may be garnished or assigned to the tender have different impacts on credit activity in states with different interest rate ceilings. The empirical results for the five states, which represent alternative regulatory regimes, reveal that there do exist dramatic differences in the role of security and collection remedies in personal loan contracts across states.
Rate Ceilings and Loan Turndowns." Journal of Finance, December 1975, 1376-83.
"An Analysis of the Impact of Interest Rate Ceilings." Journal of Finance, September 1982, 941-54.
Finally, the interest rate ceiling associated with each loan was determined on the basis of the loan size, term-to-maturity, and the type of loan law governing the transaction.
The empirical results suggest that the impact of security and collection remedies on personal loan interest rates varies with the restrictiveness of the legal interest rate ceiling. In the case of Wisconsin and Massachusetts, the low ceiling states, collateral variables (including income subject to garnishment) as a group do not have a statistically significant impact on loan interest rates.