contour line

noun

Definition of contour line 

: a line (as on a map) connecting the points on a land surface that have the same elevation

Examples of contour line in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The brand decked out its popular midcushion Launch 5 road shoe with a graphic of rope coils, nautical chart contour lines, anchors, and the aforementioned lobstahs. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Grading 2018's Boston Marathon Shoes," 11 Apr. 2018 The next image shows the incredible pressure gradient (change in pressure over distance, revealed by contour lines called isobars). Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, "A mighty wind: Behind one of Washington’s worst-ever winter wind storms," 5 Mar. 2018 Topographic maps, which hikers use, typically show major highways, trails, waterways, vegetation (such as forests and meadows) and contour lines that depict elevation. Jenny Rough, Washington Post, "Why it’s a real mistake to count on a cellphone when you go hiking," 16 Sep. 2017 The Unisphere, a stainless steel globe with contour lines denoting elevation and crossed rings to suggest orbiting rockets, was built for the 1964 World’s Fair as a hopeful monument to unity, humanity, and space travel. Rahel Aima, New Republic, "Ai WeiWei Takes on the Migrant Crisis," 23 Oct. 2017 The canvases were heavily influenced by Japanese art, including the flatness of the color with bold contour lines. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "A Virtual Exhibit Unites Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers," 11 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of contour line

1844, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contour line

Share contour line

Statistics for contour line

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contour line

The first known use of contour line was in 1844

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on contour line

See words that rhyme with contour line

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about contour line

Comments on contour line

What made you want to look up contour line? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!