Definition of contiguity in US English:



  • 1The state of bordering or being in direct contact with something.

    ‘nations bound together by geographical contiguity’
    • ‘The claims of contiguity, and geography more generally, would continue to make themselves felt.’
    • ‘Never mind the fact that those very settlement blocs are the main obstacle to the formation of a Palestinian state characterized by territorial contiguity.’
    • ‘Their geographical contiguity must have come to be regarded as a zone of political proximity if not a frontier or border of some kind.’
    • ‘By the medieval times, linguistic violence and hatred for each other had become unbridgeable, with geographic contiguity between the Caliphates and the Byzantine empire stoking the fires of Holy War.’
    • ‘There are also several well-established neutral districting principles, such as contiguity, compactness, community of interest among those in the district, and adherence to municipal and county lines.’
    • ‘First, Mexican immigration is different because of contiguity.’
    • ‘The essence of this concept is a limited form of community interest, usually involving a small group of states in geographical contiguity, who exercise shared rights over the resources in question.’
    • ‘From the beginning, the intent has been to break up the contiguity of Palestinian communities by building settlements and roads.’
    • ‘Several hundred autonomous Indian principalities were expected to accede to one or the other new state on the basis of territorial contiguity and the religious composition of the population.’
    • ‘The first definition is of a truncated mini-state without territorial contiguity.’
    1. 1.1Psychology The sequential occurrence or proximity of stimulus and response, causing their association in the mind.
      • ‘Well, the secret, which is something that one knows or does not know - thus, an object of knowing - here becomes by metonymy or contiguity the subject of knowing, what knows rather than what is or is not known.’
      • ‘Many contemporary artists are now stressing contiguity in their work.’
      • ‘The contiguity of the sequence is also massively improved.’
      • ‘Unlike Hume, he did not distinguish between resemblance, contiguity, and cause and effect, and he offered no detailed analysis of causal association.’
      • ‘This kind of result was obtained by Adichie, among other workers, in the late 1970s based on the contiguity techniques.’
      • ‘We have seen that Hume takes there to be three relations on which our association of ideas depends, those of resemblance, contiguity, and cause and effect, but there is a functional difference between the first two and the third.’
      • ‘For the twins they are sometimes supposed to be, Ishmael and Ahab have only very rare moments of contiguity or overlapping.’
      • ‘He, in an article on intertextuality, describes it as ‘relationships of contiguity and similarity’.’
      • ‘The theological views held by the Lutheran Church to the contrary, the tombs assert the contiguity of the community of the living with the dead.’
      • ‘From that moment, he anchors his existence in the hopeless need to share an affective contiguity with this random female acquaintance by changing the time of every clock and watch he encounters to Paris time.’
      • ‘However, as Deacon notes, many things can be said to have physical or temporal contiguity so there must be something more to this interpretative process.’
      • ‘Sense knowledge can tell us only that effect follows upon cause, because the mind, bounded by the senses, cannot legitimately infer any idea of causality from impressions of mere contiguity.’
      • ‘The application of sympathy is based on ‘resemblance and contiguity,’ which give rise to family, friendship, etc.’
      • ‘As our imagination chops up and forms new ideas, it is directed by three principles of association, namely, resemblance, contiguity, and cause and effect.’
      • ‘Yu's work ostentatiously references film strips - suggesting sequentiality, narrative and subjectivity through contiguity, rhythm and fragmentation.’
      • ‘At the same time, through similarity and contiguity, the infant constellates the child archetype in the mother.’
      • ‘This contiguity is reflected in tales about the creation of human forms.’
      • ‘Metonymy is the trope of contiguity, part-part relationships, where a single event may provide a causal link in a chain of events.’
      • ‘First, he argued that the synaptic connections between neurons of the cortex increased in efficiency in proportion to a degree to which there had been temporal contiguity in their pre- and post-synaptic physiological activity.’
      • ‘Her combination of high seriousness, insight, and muddle-headedness establishes, in the earlier parts of the novel, the contiguity of inspiration and comedy.’
      closeness, nearness, presence, juxtaposition, propinquity, adjacency
      View synonyms


Early 16th century: from late Latin contiguitas, from Latin contiguus ‘touching’ (see contiguous).