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[prom-uh n-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
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noun, plural prom·on·to·ries.
  1. a high point of land or rock projecting into the sea or other water beyond the line of coast; a headland.
  2. a bluff, or part of a plateau, overlooking a lowland.
  3. Anatomy. a prominent or protuberant part.
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Origin of promontory

First recorded in 1540–50, promontory is from the Latin word prōmontorium, prōmunturium, of unclear derivation
Can be confusedcape peninsula promontory
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for promontory


noun plural -ries
  1. a high point of land, esp of rocky coast, that juts out into the sea
  2. anatomy any of various projecting structures
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin prōmunturium headland; related to prōminēre; see prominent
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 promontory


1540s, from Middle French promontoire (15c.) and directly from Medieval Latin promontorium, altered (by influence of Latin mons "mount, hill") from Latin promunturium "mountain ridge, headland," probably related to prominere "jut out" (see prominent).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

promontory in Medicine


  1. A projecting part.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

promontory in Science


  1. A high ridge of land or a rock cliff jutting out into a body of water.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.