contour line


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 For sheer rhythmic movement, delicacy of contour line and limpid grace in form and texture, there is nothing to approach this piece. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "How the Indian icon Nataraja danced his way from ancient history to modern physics," 18 Dec. 2019 The workshop included instruction on everything from interpreting contour lines on a topographic map to how to adjust a compass to orient it to true north. Richard A. Marini,, "Government Canyon class orients hikers on low-tech tools for navigating the outdoors," 13 Oct. 2019 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

Time Traveler for contour line

Time Traveler

The first known use of contour line was in 1844

See more words from the same year

Statistics for contour line

Cite this Entry

“Contour line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on contour line 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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