contour


1con·tour

noun \ˈkän-ˌtr\

: the outline or outer edge of something

Full Definition of CONTOUR

1
:  an outline especially of a curving or irregular figure :  shape; also :  the line representing this outline
2
:  the general form or structure of something :  characteristic —often used in plural <contours of a melody>
3
:  a usually meaningful change in intonation in speech

Examples of CONTOUR

  1. He loved the sleek contours of the car.
  2. The map showed the contour of the coastline.

Origin of CONTOUR

French, from Italian contorno, from contornare to round off, from Medieval Latin, to turn around, from Latin com- + tornare to turn on a lathe — more at turn
First Known Use: 1662

Related to CONTOUR

2contour

adjective

Definition of CONTOUR

1
:  following contour lines or forming furrows or ridges along them <contour flooding> <contour farming>
2
:  made to fit the contour of something <a contour couch> <contour sheets>

First Known Use of CONTOUR

1844

Other Agriculture/Gardening Terms

fallow, graft, heirloom, loam, potash, soilage, swath, tilth, windfall

3contour

transitive verb

Definition of CONTOUR

1
a :  to shape the contour of
b :  to shape so as to fit contours
2
:  to construct (as a road) in conformity to a contour

First Known Use of CONTOUR

1871

Other Civil Engineering Terms

asphalt, ballast, barrage, cantilever, infrastructure, sluice

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