Definition of contour line in English:

contour line


  • A line on a map joining points of equal height above or below sea level.

    • ‘The surface topology of the three-dimensional density map is defined by the outermost contour line.’
    • ‘Avoid the rocky outcrops, and when you reach approximately the 550-metre contour line, bear round to the east and then the north-east until you arrive at the steep slope which leads onto the wide summit ridge.’
    • ‘Picture a topographic map of a city where the contour lines represent points, not of equal elevation but equal market value per square foot (psf).’
    • ‘However, there is a 940m contour line on the western peak which infers, but does not guarantee, that the land within it is likely to be higher than 940m.’
    • ‘The flatness is extreme; there is not a contour line through today's route.’
    • ‘For example, British cartographers favoured showing height by means of contour lines while the French preferred hachures.’
    • ‘For example, topographers would record a mountain as a set of measurements, which a cartographer would later condense into a set of contour lines, enabling the ready visual apprehension of the mountain as a topographic fact.’
    • ‘In the pass and above ridges, movements often did not follow contour lines and it was difficult to discern any influence of local topography on direction of movement.’
    • ‘He indicates a small arrow in the middle of an ocean of contour lines.’
    • ‘With all the provinces delineated, the two irregular 1,000-m contour lines on either side of the Andes, and two major Amazonian tributaries, they are large enough to be surprisingly informative.’
    • ‘Maps with utility lines, soils, contour lines, parking lot and building outlines were drawn on top of aerial photos and were printed out for the students to take along on the trip.’
    • ‘He has a map showing a 600-foot contour line to indicate where the Ark could have landed.’
    • ‘Topographic maps use contour lines based on elevation to depict landforms.’
    • ‘Ten minutes later, we met today's only contour line, the one marking 30 metres and we did not reach such dizzy heights again until almost the end of this wonderfully flat walk.’
    • ‘To make things as simple as possible I decided to concentrate on images of flat emptiness, avoiding mountainous areas where the contour lines jostle against each other.’
    • ‘But give him extra credit for understanding contour lines.’
    • ‘For example, the details of buildings, roads, railroads and elevation contour lines shown on land adjacent to water areas are missing, replaced with a color tint and perhaps the words ‘inhabited area’.’
    • ‘Although deciphering these maps requires more than a cursory glance at the welter of contour lines, symbols, notations, and fonts, this volume is a welcome addition to the reference shelf.’
    • ‘Although deceptively simple with its black-and-white contour line design, this is an impressive piece of work.’
    • ‘He pulled out a map and showed me where we were, and how the contour lines mushed together into one striped band.’


contour line

/ˈkänto͝o(ə)r līn/