[ tim-ber-lahyn ]
/ ˈtɪm bərˌlaɪn /


the altitude above sea level at which timber ceases to grow.
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/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for timberline

British Dictionary definitions for timberline


/ (ˈtɪmbəˌlaɪn) /


the altitudinal or latitudinal limit of normal tree growthSee 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

Word Origin and History for timberline



1867, from timber + line (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for timberline


[ tĭmbər-līn′ ]

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.