Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective con·tig·u·ous \kən-ˈti-gyə-wəs, -gyü-əs\

Simple Definition of contiguous

  • —used to describe things that touch each other or are immediately next to each other

Full Definition of contiguous

  1. 1 :  being in actual contact :  touching along a boundary or at a point

  2. 2 of angles :  adjacent 2

  3. 3 :  next or near in time or sequence

  4. 4 :  touching or connected throughout in an unbroken sequence <contiguous row houses>

con·tig·u·ous·ly adverb
con·tig·u·ous·ness noun

Examples of contiguous

  1. And in the west, contiguous to Lebanon, was the mountain stronghold of Latakia … —Robert D. Kaplan, Atlantic, February 1993

  2. The Santa Monica Mountains, a sort of foot-note to the big contiguous ranges, stood off to the southwest of us, discrete and small. —John McPhee, New Yorker, 26 Sept. 1988

  3. ‘I've had my men looking into the land situation … and they think they could get us an additional thirty thousand acres, not all of it contiguous but we might make some trades.’ —James A. Michener, Texas, 1985

  4. <Connecticut and Massachusetts are contiguous states.>

Origin of contiguous

Latin contiguus, from contingere to have contact with — more at contingent

First Known Use: circa 1609

Synonym Discussion of contiguous

adjacent, adjoining, contiguous, juxtaposed mean being in close proximity. adjacent may or may not imply contact but always implies absence of anything of the same kind in between <a house with an adjacent garage>. adjoining definitely implies meeting and touching at some point or line <had adjoining rooms at the hotel>. contiguous implies having contact on all or most of one side <offices in all 48 contiguous states>. juxtaposed means placed side by side especially so as to permit comparison and contrast <a skyscraper juxtaposed to a church>.

Rhymes with contiguous

Medical Dictionary


adjective con·tig·u·ous \kən-ˈtig-yə-wəs\

Medical Definition of contiguous

  1. :  being in actual contact :  touching along a boundary or at a point

  2. con·ti·gu·ity \ˌkänt-ə-ˈgyü-ət-ē\play noun, plural con·ti·gu·it·ies
    con·tig·u·ous·ly adverb

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up contiguous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

16.96 pounds 196.5 pounds 100 pounds 2.2 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.