con·​tig·​u·​ous | \ kən-ˈti-gyə-wəs How to pronounce contiguous (audio) , -gyü-əs\

Definition of contiguous

1 : being in actual contact : touching along a boundary or at a point the 48 contiguous states
2 of angles : adjacent sense 2
3 : next or near in time or sequence The fires were contiguous with the earthquake.
4 : touching or connected throughout in an unbroken sequence contiguous row houses contiguous vineyards

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Other Words from contiguous

contiguously adverb
contiguousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Availability: Nationwide delivery by USPS within 1-3 business days only in the contiguous 48 states, no Alaska or Hawaii. Allure, "The Best Flower Delivery Services to Order a Last-Minute Mother's Day Gift for Your Mom," 10 May 2019 From the satellite view, urban spaces are also assumed to exhibit geometric spatial patterns, such as straight roads and contiguous, rectilinear buildings. Annette M. Kim, The Atlantic, "Satellite Images Can Harm the Poorest Citizens," 5 June 2018 This 13-mile, natural surface trail will be a great asset and provide an entryway onto the Spring Creek Greenway, which is the longest, contiguous, urban, forested greenway in the country. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "Spring Creek Nature Trail completed, ceremony scheduled for June 1," 24 May 2018 The trip must make at least one stop in all 48 states in the contiguous U.S. 2. Michelle Profis, Country Living, "This Data Scientist Has Mapped the Ultimate American Road Trip," 16 Mar. 2015 For example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the period from December 2013 through February 2014 was only the 34th coldest for the contiguous 48 states since reliable records began in 1895. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Don’t Get Complacent About Natural Gas," 1 Aug. 2018 And while free is good, consider that 10,000 AAdvantage miles aren’t enough to make a roundtrip flight in the contiguous United States. Ryan Craggs, Condé Nast Traveler, "The New AAdvantage MileUp Card Is an Easy Way to Earn Free Flights," 12 July 2018 Amid the turmoil, Iran not only consolidated its position in Iraq but projected its power much further in pursuit of its goal: a contiguous sphere of influence from its western border to the Mediterranean. Kamran Bokhari, WSJ, "Don’t Let Yemen Become a Proxy of Iran," 16 Nov. 2018 Explore Baxter State Park and the forests to the southwest, the contiguous Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land and Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) 100-Mile Wilderness Conservation Area. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Beautiful Places to See New England Fall Foliage This Year," 5 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contiguous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of contiguous

circa 1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contiguous

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

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Statistics for contiguous

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for contiguous

The first known use of contiguous was circa 1609

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More Definitions for contiguous



English Language Learners Definition of contiguous

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


con·​tig·​u·​ous | \ kən-ˈtig-yə-wəs How to pronounce contiguous (audio) \

Medical Definition of contiguous

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

Other Words from contiguous

contiguity \ ˌkänt-​ə-​ˈgyü-​ət-​ē How to pronounce contiguity (audio) \ noun, plural contiguities
contiguously adverb

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Comments on contiguous

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