Definition of map in English:



  • 1A diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads, etc.

    ‘a street map’
    • ‘Well a map will help of course, but not all city maps are up to date and only the best among them provide an index of city streets.’
    • ‘You have to identify a street with a name, using a map or a road sign.’
    • ‘Zonal maps and land use patterns under the master plan will be displayed.’
    • ‘They will come into place when all the conclusive maps of access land have been published and the Secretary of State has authorised their commencement.’
    • ‘In fact, I've been looking at my road map planning my drive up to Sydney, and I realised something.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the Highways Department arrived with a map with eight road humps marked in for Emily Street and four for Marborough Street.’
    • ‘The maps represent arbitrary chunks of city terrain; city transit maps are included separately.’
    • ‘But the M25 was closed for maintenance coming back and I was forced ‘off road’ without a map.’
    • ‘The exhibition features maps and plans of the proposed regeneration schemes as well as explanations of the designs and the work behind the ideas.’
    • ‘The discovery of the city wall remains was not a surprise to the City Council as maps had pinpointed Peter Street as a location for the historic ruins.’
    • ‘Think of how superior a map showing roads, terrain, rivers, and cities is to one showing just a featureless land mass.’
    • ‘City council minutes for 1911 and 1912 make no mention of any gift, and city maps do not show a park in that area of town.’
    • ‘There have been no measures initiated nor a road map charted out, to rectify such fiscal imbalances and to restore balance for long term growth.’
    • ‘These directives are based on normal real estate valuation principles and are appended with land maps for each urban area.’
    • ‘I found a street map of the whole area, and spent an hour looking at it.’
    • ‘But the CIA-produced Moscow Street Guide remained by far the best map of the city.’
    • ‘The military planner must have a good local city street map and aerial photos.’
    • ‘He grabbed a map of the City… and began mapping out an area that he was going to cover in tonight's run.’
    • ‘The Roads Management Service have put on display the revised maps for the road alterations to be carried out at Harbour Road and Manse Road.’
    • ‘It might be compared with the modern Arnhem Land maps of the same area that I tried to find later, but which were merely a patchwork of uranium leases.’
    plan, chart
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    1. 1.1A two-dimensional representation of the positions of stars or other astronomical objects.
      ‘she went inside to check a star map’
      • ‘She reached in and pulled out a solar map, with one star highlighted.’
      • ‘At astronomy, the last class, neither Jordan nor David spoke a word that didn't have to do with plotting stars on a map.’
      • ‘The platform was actually some kind of map to the stars above with thousands of tiny specks of light dotting the dark blue steel.’
      • ‘A corollary of this is to have star maps and a red light with you, so that you can look up the location of anything you haven't memorized how to find yet.’
      • ‘Physicists and astronomers set about trying to identify this imprint in maps of our own galactic neighbourhood.’
      • ‘If it is visible the site will give you a star map showing where the ISS is, its path over the sky and the exact time when it can be seen.’
      • ‘He looked at the star maps to see if there were any habitable planets or moons in the area.’
      • ‘It took them less than 30 minutes to locate a star not on their map.’
      • ‘Admiral Leverios was speaking to the assembled group while pointing at something on a star map.’
      • ‘The couple use special star maps to help create as authentic a night sky as possible, with everything in its correct place.’
      • ‘He touched the planet on the star map, and it listed statistics on the planet itself.’
      • ‘The Southern Fish is usually depicted on star maps at the feet of Aquarius, where it swallows up the water poured from his urn.’
      • ‘The most significant difference between the two maps was the relative position of RAPD359.’
    2. 1.2A diagram or collection of data showing the spatial arrangement or distribution of something over an area.
      ‘an electron density map’
      • ‘The complete diffraction data, once obtained, can be used to construct the electron density map of the unit cell.’
      • ‘Together this provides a map of solute distribution in space and time.’
      • ‘In the spatial maps, computed concentrations less than zero were set equal to zero.’
      • ‘The radiolabelled object is then exposed to a photographic emulsion to obtain a map of radionuclide distribution.’
      • ‘The DLSM spatial maps of the fluctuation decay rates of the imaged cells confirm this finding.’
      • ‘The blue-colored image above shows some low-resolution electron density maps of the holoenzyme.’
      plan, chart
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    3. 1.3Biology A representation of the sequence of genes on a chromosome or of bases in a DNA or RNA molecule.
      ‘a physical and genetic map of the entire human genome’
      • ‘Generation of entire chromosomal maps has been a central problem in genetics right from its early years.’
      • ‘Arrows below the gene map indicate primers used in PCR analysis of the P-element insertions.’
      • ‘An integrated map of all 21 chromosomes based on 436 deletion lines was constructed.’
      • ‘Lines below the chromosomal map indicate the deleted region with the arrow pointing in the direction of the deletion.’
      • ‘The od gene on the Z chromosome of the classical map of the silkworm is located on group 3.’
    4. 1.4Mathematics
      another term for mapping
      • ‘It is generally regarded as a study of the iteration of maps, of time evolution of differential equations, and of group actions on manifolds.’
      • ‘Two algebraic varieties are said to be equivalent if there is a one-to-one correspondence between them with both the map and its inverse regular.’
      • ‘This work gave an algebraic classification of maps from polyhedra to spheres.’
      • ‘In the quadratic map, very small changes to alpha make enormous changes on how the system behaves.’
      • ‘However, Ulam did make a fundamental contribution in proposing the antipodal map theorem.’
  • 2informal, dated A person's face.

    ‘you ought to know my map by now’
    • ‘He placed a claw against her lips, his face a map of exhaustion, but with a gentle smile.’
    • ‘After an initial fit of entitlement, Ralph went and looked at his sister, his face a sorrowful map of genuine concern.’


  • 1 Represent (an area) on a map; make a map of.

    ‘inaccessible parts will be mapped from the air’
    • ‘We mapped the area and decided that there was a large prospect up from it about 55 kilometres long.’
    • ‘Because of the sprawling size of the area to be mapped, preliminary observation was done by car, and then on foot.’
    • ‘Although it gets quite frustrating, players will quickly learn that a fair bit of each mapped area is not accessible.’
    • ‘Gabbro Rock outcrops were scattered throughout the preserve but were not mapped because of their small area.’
    • ‘Now, with the aid of oil industry technology, the area off Utah and Omaha beaches in Normandy will be mapped, revealing exactly where the tanks were buried.’
    • ‘This system maps an area, showing where objects, that might be mines, are.’
    • ‘Each time WFCAM maps an area of sky, it will generate an image of over 250 million pixels.’
    • ‘The maps also show patterns of cancer that might escape notice if larger areas were mapped.’
    • ‘He was also to map the area between Pine Creek and the West Australian border.’
    • ‘An understanding of coastal landforms and the processes acting upon them can be used to map areas at risk from cliff failure, beach erosion, and flooding.’
    • ‘And yet before the area was properly mapped, mere vigilance was not enough, as the long list of ships wrecked and lives lost proves.’
    • ‘The Chapman Corridor Bushcare Group plans to eventually survey and map the park to provide a picture of the park's flora health.’
    • ‘If a house was on a noisy street, the realtor would show them one in an area so remote it probably had not yet been mapped.’
    • ‘The act gives ramblers the right to walk freely across mapped areas of open country, including mountains, moors and registered common land.’
    • ‘Has he seen the extent of the flood plain in a one in a 100-year flood in this area, as mapped by the Environment Agency?’
    • ‘This permitted us to map the local jamming area and determine the boundaries of the jamming range.’
    • ‘We mapped the study area using a compass, range finder, and measuring tape; the map was then analyzed in a digitized format.’
    • ‘In-mine mapping revealed a similar degree of erosion down to the coal in parts of all four mapped areas, which were about 1.6 km apart.’
    • ‘Suppose we map an area and find that it looks like the image at right.’
    • ‘Even if the area is mapped as access land, you will not be able to walk within 20m of a dwelling, or in gardens or courtyards within the curtilage of a property, unless a right of way already exists.’
    chart, plot, delineate, draw, depict, portray, survey
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    1. 1.1Record in detail the spatial distribution of (something)
      ‘the project to map the human genome’
      • ‘Or, mapping the human genome could be judged as the greatest advance in the history of our species since we stood up on two legs.’
      • ‘We have mapped the human genome and embarked on identifying and curing heretofore intractable genetic conditions.’
      • ‘As mapping the human genome reveals the actual evolution of the organism, so the history of culture traces an essential source of human personality.’
      • ‘But mapping the genomes of animals such as pigs, cows, chickens and sheep is turning out to be every bit as significant.’
      • ‘Animal models and their corresponding genomes are highly useful for mapping traits that may apply to human diseases.’
      • ‘Such thinking in the scientific community prompted the ambitious plan to map the human genome.’
      • ‘The entire human genome-every bit of DNA-has been mapped out by the Human Genome Project.’
      • ‘Businessweek has an article about the Beijing Genome Institute which mapped the rice genome earlier this year.’
      • ‘The researchers are also using the markers as a guide in mapping the sugar beet genome.’
      • ‘Abnormal flow patterns can also be recorded and used, for example, to map jets of blood leaking from damaged valves.’
      • ‘One of the promises of the human genome project which identified and mapped the genes on our chromosomes was that it could help to target medications better.’
      • ‘He was one of the guys who founded Celera Genomics, the first company to map the human genome.’
      • ‘For my class project I chose to map the foraging patterns of a nesting Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher.’
      • ‘To achieve this goal we map the spatial distribution of volcanic seismic facies units.’
      • ‘Amazingly, a rough draft of the entire human genome was mapped by the year 2000.’
      • ‘Testing of these models requires that the spatial and temporal distribution of strain and vorticity domains be mapped out across the slab.’
      • ‘Witmer was able to map the likely position of cartilage, blood vessels and other soft tissues that made up the nasal cavities of dinosaurs.’
      • ‘The scientist whose company first mapped the human genome has formed a company to create life.’
      • ‘But who can name the guys who mapped the human genome first, for example?’
      • ‘Although scientists have now successfully mapped the human genome, the next step is to make sense of it.’
    2. 1.2[with object and adverbial]Associate (a group of elements or qualities) with an equivalent group, according to a particular formula or model.
      ‘the transformational rules map deep structures into surface structures’
      • ‘In particular, the k coloring problem can be mapped directly onto a model of a magnetic system in solid-state physics.’
      • ‘We reported on this issue in our first investigative piece, when we found that the behavior maps to a specific position of the view camera.’
      • ‘It would be possible to work through the classification describing how each kind of loop maps into different spatial and temporal orderings.’
    3. 1.3Mathematics Associate each element of (a set) with an element of another set.
      ‘the direct sum of two rings A and B may be mapped homomorphically on the summand’
      • ‘These latent variables are essential for linkage mapping and association mapping.’
    4. 1.4Mathematics [no object]Be associated with or linked to.
      ‘if more than one suffix can be mapped on to the end of a word then the longest is chosen for removal’
      • ‘For instance, if lattice dimensions are N x, N y, N z and N t and the dimensions of the machine are n x, n y, n z and n t, then the number of lattice points mapped on to a node will be N x/n x * N y/n y * N z/n z * N t/n t.’
      • ‘Cantor showed in 1878 that the unit interval I can be mapped bijectively onto the unit square I 2.’
      • ‘Although Riemann had given a proof of the theorem that any simply connected region of the plane can be mapped conformally onto a disc, his proof involved using the Dirichlet problem.’


  • off the map

    • (of a place) very distant or remote.

      ‘she grew up in a hick town, right off the map’
      • ‘Sakhalin is off the map, a fleck on the flank of Asia.’
      • ‘The filmmaker sought to examine the mental stress experienced by the population in a place off the map or at the world's end.’
      isolated, remote, out of the way, outlying, off the beaten track, in the depths of …, hard to find, lonely, in the back of beyond, in the hinterlands, off the map, in the middle of nowhere, godforsaken, obscure, inaccessible, cut-off, tucked away, unreachable
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  • put someone/thing on the map

    • Bring someone or something to prominence.

      ‘one big international polo tournament could really put our club on the map’
      • ‘We're disappointed not to get through but it puts our club on the map again.’
      • ‘Those fine Kerry Scotch Blackface sheep that you came across so regularly today all spring from the improvement brought about by this pioneering association which put the breed on the map.’
      • ‘I want to put this club on the map and, hopefully, turn Molesey into a footballing name.’
      • ‘This exhibit put us on the map in Michigan and Ohio, and brought in major collectors and a visit from the director of the Detroit Institute of Arts.’
      • ‘He hopes to open a cabaret club in April which, he said, would put Bradford on the map and stop the drift of people to other areas.’
      • ‘It will give the club a considerable boost and really put us on the map again after the disappointments of losing Yorkshire county cricket.’
      • ‘I want to put the city back on the map and bring people from other parts of the country and see something different here.’
      • ‘It offers tours of the slightly faded villa buildings with movie trinkets including posters of The Night of the Iguana, the film that put Puerto Vallarta on the map for Americans.’
      • ‘That investment in the film industry will put New Zealand on the map, and, as a country, we are all very proud of it.’
      • ‘Masi, one of the most famous producers in this region, has put Venetian wines on the map.’
  • wipe something off the map

    • Obliterate something totally.

      ‘there was enough gunpowder to wipe half the island off the map’
      • ‘Well, in the region where Hurricane Rita came ashore, some small rural towns were nearly wiped off the map.’
      • ‘The newsman talked about how the town of Jonesboro in the northeastern edge of the state had been wiped off the map by an F5 tornado.’
      • ‘Three cities were wiped off the map in a month because of that war.’
      • ‘The US already has enough firepower to wipe a nation off the map and kill millions upon millions of people.’
      • ‘The war was not yet over; Britain still maintained strong garrisons in New York and Charlestown, but the only effective field army in the colonies had been wiped off the map with a few strokes from Washington and Cornwallis' pen.’
      • ‘Some of these areas are accessible now only by helicopter because the roads were just completely wiped off the map by the earthquake.’
      • ‘As many as 1,000 villages and towns were either damaged or wiped off the map.’
      • ‘Well, in about 30 seconds, pretty much everyone's gonna attack this place, wipe it off the map.’
      • ‘He exterminates his enemies and wipes whole tribes off the map.’
      • ‘More than a few times I shouted angrily and cursed the opposition as they came flying down with superior aerial units to wipe my units off the map near the 30-second mark.’
      get rid of, eliminate, do away with, remove, suppress
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Phrasal Verbs

  • map something out

    • Plan a route or course of action in detail.

      ‘she mapped out a plan of action in ten minutes’
      • ‘He explained: ‘It's not that we've just got the one way of playing, but if we do change we really do know what we're doing because it has been mapped out beforehand.’’
      • ‘If we uncover the road, we will have to map it out and give the details to the county archaeologist.’
      • ‘Then a route was mapped out to take in as many different species and articles of interest as possible.’
      • ‘So they can actually map these things out and get a pretty good sense of exactly what they're going to do on this model before they actually do it in real life.’
      • ‘In my view there is a God out there and our lives are mapped out for us.’
      • ‘The event was briefed, and every contingency was mapped out.’
      • ‘At a recent California conference, organised by the ATM Forum, strategies were mapped out for the development of standards for delivering streaming media and the like more reliably over existing carrier infrastructures.’
      • ‘I could map it out more thoroughly, but eh, what do you expect for free?’
      • ‘In 2002 when perpetual roadblocks became a thorn in the flesh of Lusaka bus drivers, a strategy was mapped out in Chawama to end the problem.’
      • ‘A number of concrete measures were mapped out, he said after a tete-a-tete with the director of the Russian border service.’
      • ‘A series of policies will be mapped out soon to develop private medical institutions.’
      • ‘Having previously recorded on location, he knew what was required and had mapped things out in detail beforehand.’
      • ‘And I realized that, with my lifestyle, where I come from, my culture, in a sense my whole life was mapped out for me,’ she says, struggling to find the words to explain.’
      • ‘Details for the resolution will be mapped out by high-ranking officials of the two countries, he added.’
      • ‘I like to know in advance what the day will consist of, so I can map it out in my mind.’
      • ‘The sequences of these three episodes were very interesting because three entirely different strategies were mapped out for each day.’
      • ‘An analysis was made of the moral and psychological state of the servicemen and their family members, the existing social and housing problems were revealed and ways were mapped out of dealing with them.’
      • ‘Even if, at the time, I was not exactly the happiest person in the world to see him, the day that he came after me was the day that the rest of my life was mapped out.’
      • ‘Previously, the dirt and turf courses were mapped out in detail while receiving devices were installed that would track the transmitter.’
      • ‘Today, having mapped it out, I'm not following that pattern.’
      outline, set out, lay out, sketch out, trace out, rough out, block out, delineate, detail, draw up
      formulate, work out, frame, draft, plan, plot out
      arrange, design, programme, think out, think through, organize
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Early 16th century: from medieval Latin mappa mundi, literally sheet of the world, from Latin mappa sheet, napkin + mundi of the world (genitive of mundus).