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

Examples of topology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bill Thurston was a mathematician who turned the subject of three-dimensional topology upside down. Quanta Magazine, 22 May 2024 In this sense, paradoxically, cylinders are not intrinsically curved, though spheres are. Share this article Newsletter Get Quanta Magazine delivered to your inbox Recent newsletters Introduction This number also helps mathematicians draw conclusions about the space’s topology. Jordana Cepelewicz, Quanta Magazine, 14 May 2024 At first glance, topology would seem to be a poor fit for the problem of polling site placement. Lyndie Chiou, WIRED, 21 Apr. 2024 The conjecture brought tools from analysis (an advanced form of calculus) squarely into topology. Kevin Hartnett, Quanta Magazine, 22 Feb. 2024 In general, network devices should only be connecting to nearby devices for exchanging routing or network topology information or with administrative systems for time synchronization, logging, authentication, monitoring, etc. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 27 Sep. 2023 More research is needed to understand how that number depends on details such as the grid topology and the control details of both the GFLs and the GFMs. Benjamin Kroposki, IEEE Spectrum, 13 Apr. 2024 In a paper due to be published this summer in the journal SIAM Review, Mason Porter, a mathematician at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his students used tools from topology to do just that. Lyndie Chiou, Quanta Magazine, 26 Mar. 2024 Although these questions seem to fit snugly within the confines of geometry as it’s taught in high school, attempts to solve them have required some of the world’s foremost mathematicians to bring in ideas from disparate fields including dynamical systems, topology and differential geometry. Quanta Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024

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

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 14 Jun. 2024.

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!