verb (used with object)
Origin of contour
Examples from the Web for contour
The bank notes no longer crinkled when he walked; they had taken the contour of his hairy chest.A Village of Vagabonds|F. Berkeley Smith
Perhaps the contour has been destroyed by the action of wind and weather.A Visit to the Holy Land, Egypt, and Italy|Ida Pfeiffer
The contour of the face expresses the most powerful command, and exalted, boundless, expansion of thought.
Could you give us a description of the contour of the bullet, and its length?Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15)|The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
Primaries eleven; fifth secondary wanting; after shaft to contour feathers present.British Birds in their Haunts|Rev. C. A. Johns
British Dictionary definitions for contour
- See contour line
- (as modifier)a contour map
Word Origin for contour
Word Origin and History for contour
1660s, a term in painting and sculpture, from French contour "circumference, outline," from Italian and Medieval Latin contornare "to go around," from Latin com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + tornare "to turn (on a lathe);" see turn (v.).
First recorded application to topography is from 1769. Earlier the word was used to mean "bedspread, quilt" (early 15c.) in reference to its falling over the sides of the mattress. Related: Contoured. Contour line in geography is from 1844.