ho·ri·zon | \ hə-ˈrī-zᵊn \

Definition of horizon 

1a : the line where the earth seems to meet the sky : the apparent junction of earth and sky sailing toward the horizon

b : the great circle on the celestial sphere formed by the intersection of the celestial sphere with a plane tangent to the earth's surface at an observer's position — see azimuth illustration

c : range of perception or experience broaden your horizons

d : something that might be attained opening up new horizons in the field of cancer research

2a geology : a natural soil layer deposited at a particular time usually identified by distinctive fossils

b geology : any of the reasonably distinct layers of soil or its underlying material in a vertical section of land

c anthropology : a cultural area or level of development indicated by separated groups of artifacts

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Other words from horizon

horizonal \hə-ˈrī-zᵊn-əl \ adjective

Examples of horizon in a Sentence

We sailed toward the horizon. The sun rose slowly over the eastern horizon. These discoveries have opened up new horizons in the field of cancer research.
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Recent Examples on the Web

By 6, everyone was out of their seats and dancing as the sun slowly disappeared below the horizon. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "How St. Barth's Survived the Devastating Hurricanes of 2017," 10 July 2018 The fog layer looks like a pearl sea that extends for miles to the western horizon. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "’Tis the season for ‘Dancing with Fog’," 12 July 2018 To the right of that and a little closer to the horizon, Scorpius will be poking its head up into the sky. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Clear skies, new moon will be good for stargazing Thursday. Here’s what you could see.," 11 July 2018 Smith concludes his piece with a big statement — a bright-as-sunshine shout of ecstasy that looks to the horizon and suggests a broad spiritual quest. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "The Crossing choir premieres vivid new Kile Smith work," 1 July 2018 Below the citadel, the ruins stretch to the horizon. The Economist, "How a victorious Bashar al-Assad is changing Syria," 28 June 2018 Originally the house of Ray Lyman Wilbur, Stanford's president in 1915, the estate sits on a high hill where two of Stanford's main roads bisect; from a back window, rolling green hills give way to the horizon. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Aural Magic of Stanford's Laptop Orchestra," 8 June 2018 Marcus Smith’s seventh-floor corner office at Charlotte Motor Speedway not only offers a gorgeous look at the track itself, but also a panoramic view of the countryside that stretches to the distant horizon. Scott Fowler, charlotteobserver, "Marcus Smith unplugged: On NASCAR, gambling, what draws eyeballs, and Danica Patrick | Charlotte Observer," 24 May 2018 This is typical of the 48-year-old, who, in some ways, is always looking to the horizon. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Uber CEO: our future won’t just be cars," 15 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of horizon

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for horizon

Middle English orizon, from Late Latin horizont-, horizon, from Greek horizont-, horizōn, from present participle of horizein to bound, define, from horos boundary; perhaps akin to Latin urvum curved part of a plow

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Statistics for horizon

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for horizon

The first known use of horizon was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for horizon



English Language Learners Definition of horizon

the horizon : the line where the earth or sea seems to meet the sky

: the limit or range of a person's knowledge, understanding, or experience

: the limit of what is possible in a particular field or activity


ho·ri·zon | \ hə-ˈrī-zᵊn \

Kids Definition of horizon

1 : the line where the earth or sea seems to meet the sky

2 : the limit of a person's outlook or experience Reading broadens our horizons.

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Comments on horizon

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


the setting in which something occurs

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