[ tim-ber-lahyn ]
See synonyms for timberline on Thesaurus.com
  1. the altitude above sea level at which timber ceases to grow.

  2. the Arctic or Antarctic limit of tree growth.

Origin of timberline

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70; timber + line1
  • Also called tree line, tree·line [tree-lahyn] /ˈtriˌlaɪn/ .

Words Nearby timberline

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use timberline in a sentence

  • The town itself is located just minutes from two downhill ski resorts, Canaan Valley and timberline Mountain, and one cross-country-skiing hub, Whitegrass Ski Touring Center, all of which enjoy some 200 inches of lake-effect snow each year.

  • He blew across Chilcoot Pass, above timberline, in the first swirl of autumn snow.

    The Red One | Jack London
  • All have had to cross their Badlands, ride roughshod above the timberline or grab for cover to avoid a ricochet.

    The Land of Look Behind | Paul Cameron Brown
  • A little above them shone the snow line belting the giants of granite, and here the timberline spread in brown.

    The Red River Half-Breed | Gustave Aimard
  • To these timberline drifts, when fringed with flowers, the mother and the cubs sometimes came.

    Watched by Wild Animals | Enos A. Mills
  • Unfamiliar with timberline trees, two of the dogs in dodging the bears leaped into the matted growths.

    Watched by Wild Animals | Enos A. Mills

British Dictionary definitions for timberline


/ (ˈtɪmbəˌlaɪn) /

  1. the altitudinal or latitudinal limit of normal tree growth: See also tree line

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

Scientific definitions for timberline


[ tĭmbər-līn′ ]

  1. A geographic boundary beyond which trees cannot grow. On the Earth as a whole, the timberline is the northernmost or southernmost latitude at which trees can survive; in a mountainous region, it is the highest elevation at which trees can survive. Also called tree line

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.