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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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

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>

contiguously adverb
contiguousness noun

Examples of contiguous in a sentence

  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.>

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

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

contiguity \ˌkänt-ə-ˈgyü-ət-ē\play noun plural contiguities
contiguously adverb

Seen and Heard

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