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 raw data itself is difficult to understand as anything but abstract numbers, so scientists use contour lines to give the idea of shape, like the purple seen here. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 This style lends itself to the texture of the planet and really understanding the volume and how things move, with the contour lines outlining the bark and the different foliage. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Oct. 2023 Finally, contour lines mark changes in size, or magnitude, as on a topographical map. Jordana Cepelewicz, Quanta Magazine, 21 Sep. 2023 Pull out the poppers rainbow flags, blend out your contour lines, and throw on a foreign film with explicit gay scenes, because tonight is a night for the —. Vulture, 11 June 2023 Notice how the contour line values on the map below (which represent the height of the atmosphere) get lower and lower heading toward the Great Lakes. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2022 No one annihilates the contour line more effectively, so what seems blurry and incomprehensible demands a close look. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 26 Feb. 2022 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, 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,, 13 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'contour line.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1844, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of contour line was in 1844

Dictionary Entries Near contour line

Cite this Entry

“Contour line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

contour line

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

More from Merriam-Webster on contour line

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