Meaning of contour


Contour is the outline or shape of something. A shoe that fits well along the contours or shape of your foot is a good fit.

Contour comes from the Italian contorno meaning “to draw a line,” which is precisely what you are doing when you trace the contour of something. A road that contours a mountain follows along its edge and a mattress that contours to your body, adjusts to your shape. You might buy the kind of shoes that are designed to contour or mold to the shape of your feet over time, in which case you’ll have to break them in.

Definitions of contour
  1. noun

    a line drawn on a map connecting points of equal height


    contour line

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    a line following the lowest points of a valley
    type of:

    isometric, isometric line

    a line connecting isometric points

  2. noun

    any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline)


    configuration, conformation, form, shape

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    show 27 types…
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    keenness, sharpness

    thinness of edge or fineness of point
    bluntness, dullness

    without sharpness or clearness of edge or point

    the configuration of a surface and the relations among its man-made and natural features

    the property of having lobules
    concaveness, concavity

    the property possessed by a concave shape
    convexity, convexness

    the property possessed by a convex shape

    the property possessed by a shape that has angles

    an instance of becoming narrow
    curvature, curve

    the property possessed by the curving of a line or surface

    the property possessed by a line or surface that is curved and not angular

    freedom from crooks or curves or bends or angles

    having or distinguished by crooks or curves or bends or angles

    a layered configuration

    the quality of having a sharp edge or point

    the quality of lacking a sharp edge or point

    the property of having a sunken area
    bulginess, roundedness

    the property possessed by a rounded convexity

    (biology) a narrowing or constriction of a vessel or canal; especially a congenital narrowing of the aorta

    the property possessed by a shape that narrows toward a point (as a wedge or cone)
    oblongness, rectangularity

    the property of being shaped like a rectangle

    the property of being shaped like a triangle
    globosity, globularness, rotundity, rotundness, sphericalness, sphericity

    the roundness of a 3-dimensional object
    cylindricality, cylindricalness

    the roundness of a 3-dimensional cylinder
    circularity, disk shape

    the roundness of a 2-dimensional figure
    curliness, waviness

    (of hair) a tendency to curl

    (of hair) lack of a tendency to curl
    bottleneck, chokepoint, constriction

    a narrowing that reduces the flow through a channel
    type of:

    spatial property, spatiality

    any property relating to or occupying space

  3. noun

    a feature (or the order or arrangement of features) of anything having a complex structure

    contours of the melody”
    “it defines a major
    contour of this administration”
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    type of:

    characteristic, feature

    a prominent attribute or aspect of something

  4. verb

    form the contours of

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    contour economically or efficiently
    type of:

    delineate, limn, outline

    trace the shape of

Word Family

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