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

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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 Further supply chain shortages, inflation, and public discontent are on the horizon. Ariel Cohen, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2021 Both teams might not be capable of beating some of the league’s elite, but close losses to the Packers and Cowboys, respectively, show that brighter days might be on the horizon once the young signal-callers get up to speed. C.j. Doon, baltimoresun.com, 19 Oct. 2021 But conversations have been moving in that direction over the last two weeks, with Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue wary of letting things linger with no action as critical deadlines or vote triggers loom on the horizon. Phil Mattingly, CNN, 19 Oct. 2021 What are some of the more intriguing roster decisions on the horizon? Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 18 Oct. 2021 The three- to four-person crew of volunteers reports every little dot on the horizon that could potentially be people in distress. BostonGlobe.com, 17 Oct. 2021 With vaccine mandates going into effect at more companies and institutions—and vaccinations for children under 12 on the horizon—there are reasons to be hopeful about vaccination rates going up soon. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 15 Oct. 2021 Her soldier would explore deserted maps, arming bombs and rescuing hostages with no threat of a firefight on the horizon. Luke Winkie, Vulture, 15 Oct. 2021 That’s the bad news, but there is better news on the horizon, and Apple’s move is a drop, albeit a substantial one, in the bucket. Vanessa Gabriel, Rolling Stone, 14 Oct. 2021

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

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Horizon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horizon. Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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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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