from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The outline of a figure, body, or mass.
- n. A line that represents such an outline. See Synonyms at form, outline.
- n. A surface, especially of a curving form. Often used in the plural.
- n. A contour line.
- n. Linguistics The distinctive rising and falling patterns of pitch, tone, or stress.
- transitive v. To make or shape the outline of; represent in contour.
- transitive v. To build (a road, for example) to follow the contour of the land.
- adj. Following the contour lines of uneven terrain to limit erosion of topsoil: contour plowing.
- adj. Shaped to fit the outline or form of something: a contour sheet.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An outline, boundary or border, usually of curved shape.
- n. A line on a map or chart delineating those points which have the same altitude or other plotted quantity: a contour line or isopleth.
- n. a speech sound which behaves as a single segment, but which makes an internal transition from one quality, place, or manner to another.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The outline of a figure or body, or the line or lines representing such an outline; the line that bounds; periphery.
- n. The outline of a horizontal section of the ground, or of works of fortification.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The outline of a figure or body; the line that defines or bounds anything; the periphery considered as distinct from the object: used chiefly in speaking of rounded or sinuous bodies.
- n. Specifically— In the fine arts, a line or lines representing the outline of any figure.
- n. In fortification, the horizontal outline of works of defense. When the conformation of the ground or works is described by contours or horizontal sections, these sections are taken at some fixed vertical interval from each other suited to the scale of the drawing or the subject in hand; and the distances of the surface, at each interval, above or below some assumed plane of comparison, are given in figures at the most convenient places on the plan.
- n. In surveying, a curve of equal elevation on a map; a contourline.
- n. In mathematics, a closed curve considered as inclosing an area.
- To make a contour or outline of; mark with contours or contour-lines: as, contoured maps.
- To follow a level line on an irregular slope; imitate the path of a contour-line.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a feature (or the order or arrangement of features) of anything having a complex structure
- v. form the contours of
- n. a line drawn on a map connecting points of equal height
- n. any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline)
French, alteration (influenced by tour, turn) of Italian contorno, from contornare, to draw in outline : Latin com-, intensive pref.; see com- + Latin tornāre, to round off (from tornus, lathe, from Greek tornos).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian contorno. (Wiktionary)