Simple Definition of contiguous
—used to describe things that touch each other or are immediately next to each other
Examples of contiguous in a sentence
And in the west, contiguous to Lebanon, was the mountain stronghold of Latakia … —Robert D. Kaplan, Atlantic, February 1993
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
‘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
<Connecticut and Massachusetts are contiguous states.>
Did You Know?
You probably won't be surprised to learn that the word contact is a relative of contiguous, but would you believe that contagion and contingent are too? All of those words derive from the Latin contingere, meaning "to have contact with." The words contact and contiguous are fairly easy to connect with contingere, but what of the other two? In its early use, contingent was a synonym of "touching," and if you remember that touching something can pollute it (and that another meaning of contingere was "to pollute"), then contagion logically ties in, too.
Origin of contiguous
Latin contiguus, from contingere to have contact with — more at contingent
First Known Use: circa 1609
Synonym Discussion of contiguous
Seen and Heard
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