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horizon

[huh-rahy-zuh n]
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noun
  1. the line or circle that forms the apparent boundary between earth and sky.
  2. Astronomy.
    1. the small circle of the celestial sphere whose plane is tangent to the earth at the position of a given observer, or the plane of such a circle (sensible horizon).
    2. Also called rational horizon.the great circle of the celestial sphere whose plane passes through the center of the earth and is parallel to the sensible horizon of a given position, or the plane of such a circle (celestial horizon).
  3. the limit or range of perception, knowledge, or the like.
  4. Usually horizons. the scope of a person's interest, education, understanding, etc.: His horizons were narrow.
  5. Geology. a thin, distinctive stratum useful for stratigraphic correlation.
  6. Also called soil horizon. any of the series of distinctive layers found in a vertical cross section of any well-developed soil.

Origin of horizon

1540–50; < Latin horizōn < Greek horízōn (kýklos) bounding (circle), equivalent to horíz(ein) to bound, limit + -ōn present participle suffix (nominative singular); replacing Middle English orizonte < Middle French < Latin horizontem, accusative of horizōn

Synonyms

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4. world, perspective, domain, viewpoint.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for horizon

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • No sooner was the first light streaking the horizon to the east than Andrew wakened.

  • He kept his eyes upon the Star, where it burned white on the horizon.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Above the horizon is a goddess who holds in her left hand an ear of corn.

  • And almost immediately the rim of the sun showed above the horizon.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Those that sit on the edge of the horizon are huge and golden, like desert watch-fires.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson


British Dictionary definitions for horizon

horizon

noun
  1. Also called: visible horizon, apparent horizon the apparent line that divides the earth and the sky
  2. astronomy
    1. Also called: sensible horizonthe circular intersection with the celestial sphere of the plane tangential to the earth at the position of the observer
    2. Also called: celestial horizonthe great circle on the celestial sphere, the plane of which passes through the centre of the earth and is parallel to the sensible horizon
  3. the range or limit of scope, interest, knowledge, etc
  4. a thin layer of rock within a stratum that has a distinct composition, esp of fossils, by which the stratum may be dated
  5. a layer in a soil profile having particular characteristicsSee A horizon, B horizon, C horizon
  6. on the horizon likely or about to happen or appear
Derived Formshorizonless, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin, from Greek horizōn kuklos limiting circle, from horizein to limit, from horos limit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for horizon

n.

late 14c., orisoun, from Old French orizon (14c., Modern French horizon), earlier orizonte (13c.), from Latin horizontem (nominative horizon), from Greek horizon kyklos "bounding circle," from horizein "bound, limit, divide, separate," from horos "boundary." The h- was restored 17c. in imitation of Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

horizon in Science

horizon

[hə-rīzən]
    1. The apparent intersection of the Earth and sky as seen by an observer. Also called apparent horizon
    2. See celestial horizon.
    3. See sensible horizon.
  1. Geology
    1. A specific position in a stratigraphic column, such as the location of one or more fossils, that serves to identify the stratum with a particular period.
    2. A specific layer of soil or subsoil in a vertical cross-section of land.
  2. Archaeology A period during which the influence of a particular culture spread rapidly over a defined area.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with horizon

horizon

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.