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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web If the world hits 2ºC of global warming compared to pre-industrial levels, it's expected that oceans will rise more than 1.5 feet globally and more than 2 feet around the contiguous U.S. Li Cohen, CBS News, 4 Aug. 2022 The only community in the contiguous U.S. that broke its record for high tide flood days in the past year was Reedy Point, Delaware, more than 60 miles inland along Delaware Bay. Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY, 3 Aug. 2022 Today, agritourism has become an increasingly popular way for farmers to make ends meet across places like the Philippines, France and the contiguous United States—in many cases, even during the pandemic. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 July 2022 Such predatory behavior is rare, even though many of the black and grizzly bears living in the contiguous United States exhibit a certain degree of habituation, officials said in the report. Jonathan Edwards, Anchorage Daily News, 19 July 2022 Such predatory behavior is rare, even though many of the black and grizzly bears living in the contiguous United States exhibit a certain degree of habituation, officials said in the report. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 19 July 2022 Roc Solid On Demand program, which provides playsets to families fighting pediatric cancer anywhere in the contiguous United States. Melanie Savage, Hartford Courant, 1 July 2022 In a paper published in Wildlife Society Bulletin, researchers collected data for birds causing fires from being electrocuted throughout the contiguous United States from January 2014 through December 2018. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 June 2022 Most zip codes in the contiguous United States are covered, except for Montana, North Dakota, and parts of New Mexico. Jake Smith, Glamour, 21 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of contiguous

circa 1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contiguous

Latin contiguus "adjacent, neighboring" (from contig-, variant stem of contingere "to be in contact with" + -uus, deverbal adjective suffix) + -ous — more at contingent entry 1

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Time Traveler for contiguous

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The first known use of contiguous was circa 1609

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Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Contiguous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for contiguous


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 contiguous (audio) \ noun, plural contiguities
contiguously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on contiguous

Nglish: Translation of contiguous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contiguous for Arabic Speakers


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