Definition of contiguous
1 : being in actual contact : touching along a boundary or at a point the 48 contiguous states
2 of angles : adjacent 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
contiguous was our Word of the Day on 09/08/2015. Hear the podcast!
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.
Recent Examples of contiguous from the Web
There is a contiguous row of nine such pairings — pint-size below, family-size above — on our street.
NAFTA encourages broad, non-tariffed trade between contiguous nations, employs persons in those nations, keeps our corporations strong and money flowing, and importantly, ensures good prices for U.S. consumers.
Buying the Caswells' 250 contiguous acres is easy, compared to the way in which the family acquired it, parcel by parcel, over time.
Now, thanks to JetBlue, this is changing—at least within the contiguous U.S.
They are protected under the Endangered Species Act in the contiguous 48 states.
Their secondary goal has been to ensure that Syria’s Kurds do not establish a territorially contiguous area adjacent to the Turkish border.
Islamic State has held a contiguous stretch of territory from Iraq to Syria for more than two years, and cutting the connection between the two countries would be another major blow for the militants.
Today, the string of four groups of small islands totaling 211 acres is a National Wildlife Refuge, home to the largest colony of nesting seabirds in the contiguous United States.
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.
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.
Synonym Discussion of contiguous
CONTIGUOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of contiguous for English Language Learners
—used to describe things that touch each other or are immediately next to each other
Seen and Heard
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