to·​pol·​o·​gy tə-ˈpä-lə-jē How to pronounce topology (audio)
plural topologies
: topographic study of a particular place
specifically : the history of a region as indicated by its topography
: a branch of mathematics concerned with those properties of geometric configurations (such as point sets) which are unaltered by elastic deformations (such as a stretching or a twisting) that are homeomorphisms
: the set of all open subsets of a topological space
: configuration
topology of a molecule
topology of a magnetic field
topologist noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Lens spaces are a particular type of mathematical construction that has long been important in both geometry and topology. Steve Nadis, Quanta Magazine, 24 Jan. 2023 This type of topology investigates the fundamental traits and limitations of knotted objects. Sarah Wells, Popular Mechanics, 28 Apr. 2021 For system interconnection, Fujitsu is employing its Tofu 6D Mesh/Torus topology originally created for the K computer. IEEE Spectrum, 28 June 2018 But for me the more interesting question is the possibility of variation in social network size and topology by individual. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 3 July 2013 This highly deformable, fast, and long-stroke actuator topology can be utilized for a variety of applications from biomimicry to fully-soft grasping to wearables applications. IEEE Spectrum, 23 Jan. 2023 Dennis Sullivan won the Abel Prize for his contributions to topology, which included coming up with a new way to classify certain types of manifolds — spaces that look flat on a small scale but are more complicated when examined in their entirety. Konstantin Kakaes, Quanta Magazine, 22 Dec. 2022 Compare the linear topology of Aboriginals and Amerindians with African Americans. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 8 Aug. 2010 This is really a question of topology - how is it connected up – which also answers the question of whether the universe is finite or infinite. Mark Trodden, Discover Magazine, 8 Apr. 2012 See More

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of topology was in 1850

Dictionary Entries Near topology

Cite this Entry

“Topology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


to·​pol·​o·​gy tə-ˈpäl-ə-jē How to pronounce topology (audio)
: a branch of mathematics concerned with the properties of geometric figures that do not change when the figure is twisted or stretched in certain ways
topologist noun

Medical Definition


to·​pol·​o·​gy tə-ˈpäl-ə-jē, tä- How to pronounce topology (audio)
plural topologies
: configuration sense 1
the topology of a molecule
topological adjective
also topologic

More from Merriam-Webster on topology

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

A Good Old-Fashioned Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?