from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A representation, usually on a plane surface, of a region of the earth or heavens.
  • noun Something that suggests such a representation, as in clarity of representation.
  • noun Mathematics The correspondence of elements in one set to elements in the same set or another set.
  • noun Slang The human face.
  • noun Genetics A genetic map.
  • transitive verb To make a map of.
  • transitive verb To depict as if on a map.
  • transitive verb To explore or make a survey of (a region) for the purpose of making a map.
  • transitive verb To plan or delineate, especially in detail; arrange.
  • transitive verb Genetics To locate (a gene or DNA sequence) in a specific region of a chromosome in relation to known genes or DNA sequences.
  • transitive verb Mathematics To establish a mapping of (an element or a set).
  • idiom (all over the map) In, from, or to a variety of places; ubiquitously.
  • idiom (all over the map) Showing great variety; varied or diverse.
  • idiom (put on the map) To make well-known, prominent, or famous.
  • idiom (wipe off the map) To destroy completely; annihilate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A drawing upon a plane surface representing a part or the whole of the earth's surface or of the heavens, every point of the drawing corresponding to some geographical or celestial position, according to some law, of perspective, etc., which is called the projection, or, better, the map-projection. See projection.
  • noun Figuratively, a distinct and precise representation of anything.
  • noun A dialectal form of mop.
  • To draw or delineate in a chart or map, as the configuration and position of any portion of land.
  • Figuratively, to lay down as in a map; sketch, delineate, or describe minutely and accurately: often with out: as, to map out a course of study or reading.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To represent by a map; -- often with out. Hence, figuratively: To represent or indicate systematically and clearly; to sketch; to plan
  • noun A representation of the surface of the earth, or of some portion of it, showing the relative position of the parts represented; -- usually on a flat surface. Also, such a representation of the celestial sphere, or of some part of it.
  • noun Anything which represents graphically a succession of events, states, or acts.
  • noun (Bot.) a lichen (Lecidea geographica.) growing on stones in curious maplike figures.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A visual representation of an area, whether real or imaginary.
  • noun mathematics A function.
  • noun topology A continuous function.
  • noun A diagram of components of an item.
  • noun The butterfly Araschnia levana.
  • noun UK, old-fashioned Someone's face.
  • verb To create a visual representation of a territory, etc. via cartography.
  • verb To inform someone of a particular idea.
  • verb mathematics, transitive To act as a function on.
  • verb topology, transitive To act as a continuous function on.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb make a map of; show or establish the features of details of
  • verb explore or survey for the purpose of making a map
  • verb to establish a mapping (of mathematical elements or sets)
  • verb locate within a specific region of a chromosome in relation to known DNA or gene sequences
  • noun a diagrammatic representation of the earth's surface (or part of it)
  • verb plan, delineate, or arrange in detail
  • verb depict as if on a map
  • noun (mathematics) a mathematical relation such that each element of a given set (the domain of the function) is associated with an element of another set (the range of the function)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Middle English mapemounde, from Old French mapemond, from Medieval Latin mappa (mundī), map (of the world), from Latin, napkin, cloth (on which maps were drawn), perhaps of Punic origin; see npy in Semitic roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortening of Middle English mapemounde ("world map"), Old French mapemonde, from Medieval Latin mappa mundī, compound of Latin mappa ("napkin, cloth") and mundus ("world"), mappa borrowed from Phoenician (compare Talmudic Hebrew מפה (maffa), contraction of  (menafa, "fluttering banner")). More at mundane.


  • The blurred line bisecting the map just below figures 35 and 36 is one of the well worn folds in the map_.

    The Emma Gees

  • Placing the map in proper relation to the ground so that points of the compass coincide on map and ground is called _orienting the map_.

    Military Instructors Manual

  • "The substance of the interview was telegraphed," said Stamfordham, "but not the map -- _not the map_," he said emphatically.

    The Arbiter A Novel

  • But here, art is art; and like the man who was accused of betraying another into a profitless speculation by drawing streams on his map, when the land was without any, and who defended himself by declaring no one ever saw a _map_ without streams, the French artists appear to think every one should be represented in his ideal character, let him be as _bourgeois_ as he may in truth.

    Recollections of Europe

  • # translate atom map to the clone my @m = map {$new_mol - > by_id ($_ - > id)} @map;

    Softpedia - Windows - All

  • If Mr Stæhlin was not grossly imposed upon, what could induce him to publish a map so singularly erroneous, and in which many of these islands are jumbled together in regular confusion, without the least regard to truth; and yet he is pleased to call it _a very accurate little map_. [

    A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16

  • (Roger Scruton - Times) lcarroli: following @openstreetmap - an editable map of the world. #map mystic23: "The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion.

    open Democracy News Analysis - Comments

  • You could then leverage the var map = new GMap2 ($ ( '#map') [0]); GEvent. addListener (map, 'infowindowopen', function () {

    Klaus Hartl - Stilbüro

  • How this might have spawned the more complicated DNA-RNA-protein map is unknown at present.

    Bits and Pieces of an RNA World

  • The Garmin map is only available on a memory card I believe and my old gps doesn't have that option.

    GPS Mapping software


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Mapping stereotypes.

    April 21, 2011

  • Billifer beat me to it, but I find the word "map" as a slang term for a person's face in Infinite Jest to be perversely pleasing.

    January 11, 2009

  • What a great site, oroboros--thanks!

    December 29, 2007

  • Pam in reverse.

    December 23, 2007

  • Interesting Website featuring oddball maps:

    December 23, 2007

  • Within the novel Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, the word map refers to a person's face, e.g., "erasing someone's map" means to kill or (possibly) horribly disfigure a person.

    January 5, 2007