Definition of conterminous in US English:



  • 1Sharing a common boundary.

    ‘the forty-eight conterminous United States’
    • ‘Most likely, this difference is because winter counts include bald eagles that nest in Canada and Alaska, where populations may not be increasing at the same rate as populations in the conterminous US.’
    • ‘Streamflow in the conterminous United States increased sharply around 1970 according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey.’
    • ‘By the time the gray wolf was listed as an endangered species in the conterminous U.S., its breeding range had been reduced to a small corner of northeastern Minnesota and Isle Royale, Michigan.’
    • ‘The two grounds have been treated as conterminous, and so they largely are.’
    • ‘The migration surveys are being designed to estimate the mean number of birds present, throughout southern Canada and the conterminous United States, during a well-defined study period.’
    adjacent, neighbouring, adjoining, bordering, next-door
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    1. 1.1 Having the same area, context, or meaning.
      ‘a genealogy conterminous with the history of the USA’
      • ‘My argument, in fact, is conterminous with Section 3.5 of this book.’
      • ‘Of course, you'll define the latter in a way that is conterminous with the philosophy you oppose, but pretend that you do no such thing.’
      • ‘The acceptance of what it asserts is conterminous with the refusal of its consequences.’
      • ‘These conquests left Charlemagne's empire virtually conterminous with western Christendom, a fact acknowledged by the Pope at Rome on Christmas Day, 800, with the revival of the imperial title.’
      • ‘Bedford's life was conterminous with the era of ‘personal parties’ and the office-hungry Bedfordites were criticized, even by contemporaries, as a faction motivated principally by self-interest.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin conterminus (from con- ‘with’ + terminus ‘boundary’) + -ous. Compare with coterminous.