ho·​ri·​zon | \ hə-ˈrī-zᵊn How to pronounce horizon (audio) \

Essential Meaning of horizon

1 : the line where the earth or sea seems to meet the sky We sailed toward the horizon. The sun rose slowly over/above the eastern horizon.
2 : the limit or range of a person's knowledge, understanding, or experience Reading broadens/expands our horizons.
3 : the limit of what is possible in a particular field or activity These discoveries have opened up new horizons in the field of cancer research.

Full 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

Other Words from horizon

horizonal \ hə-​ˈrī-​zᵊn-​əl How to pronounce horizon (audio) \ 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 That would make sense since a war is on the horizon. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Jan. 2022 Immediately on the horizon, in cases to be argued in February, are questions about the reach of the Environmental Protection Agency to curtail power plant emissions. Joan Biskupic, CNN, 14 Jan. 2022 And tax and finance leaders foresee an increase in spending on the horizon due to pending legislation and regulation, talent matters, technology and data. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 14 Jan. 2022 If sewage from Santa Clara County is any indication, a hopeful trend for omicron in the Bay Area may be on the horizon — even as hospitals prepare for a surge of patients that is not expected to crest for at least a few more weeks. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Jan. 2022 The water was a deep blue ruffled by an offshore breeze, puffy white clouds on the horizon, and small birds at water’s edge dodging the rhythm of the waves. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2022 With the shadow of violence looming on the horizon, Congress created a special commission to determine the winner, which handed the presidency to Hayes. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 12 Jan. 2022 There’s still a lot of systemic change needed to make surfing accessible to all bodies, but there’s also progress on the horizon. Sarah Rose Yalowitz, SELF, 11 Jan. 2022 My evaluation process is about 75 percent complete with college all-star games on the horizon, most notably the Senior Bowl on February 5 in Mobile, Alabama. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Jan. 2022

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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Time Traveler for horizon

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near horizon



horizon blue

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Horizon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horizon. Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for horizon


ho·​ri·​zon | \ hə-ˈrī-zᵊn How to pronounce horizon (audio) \

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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