Definition of horizon in English:

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Pronunciation: /həˈrʌɪz(ə)n/


1The line at which the earth’s surface and the sky appear to meet: the sun rose above the horizon
More example sentences
  • In Athens they scarcely appear above the horizon, so the early Greek texts undermined their importance.
  • But it wasn't to be all plain sailing, the weather turned and what appeared to be a hurricane appeared over the horizon to the west.
  • Most of the time when you look at the sea you either look at the shore line or the horizon.
skyline, range of vision, field of view, vista, view
1.1 (also apparent horizon) The circular boundary of the part of the earth’s surface visible from a particular point, ignoring irregularities and obstructions.
Example sentences
  • Clearly this verse refers to no more than the visible horizon that the dawn ‘grasps’ as the sun rises.
  • It felt exactly the way it feels in the simulator: a hard-to-control aircraft and no visible horizon.
  • His arms spread from his side and swept across the entire visible horizon.
1.2 (also true horizon) Astronomy A great circle of the celestial sphere, the plane of which passes through the centre of the earth and is parallel to that of the apparent horizon of a place.
Example sentences
  • Jinx was startled to note that the horizon of the infinite plane wobbled unsteadily for a moment.
  • Approximately one degree of sign passes over the horizon every 5 minutes.
  • The interaction between the parts and the horizon brings the lunation cycle down to earth, projecting it, via the ascendant, into the sublunar sphere of the mundane houses.
2 (often horizons) The limit of a person’s knowledge, experience, or interest: she wanted to leave home and broaden her horizons
More example sentences
  • For others, it's seen as a genuine adventure fuelled by the desire to broaden horizons and experience another culture.
  • And learning the language of one's country is a very valuable and intellectual experience which broadens the horizons of the traveller, both inside and outside Scotland.
  • Obtaining a certificate in forensic science will make them more suitable, attractive candidates, expand their horizons and broaden their knowledge.
range of experience, outlook, perspective, scope, perception, compass, sphere, ambit, orbit, purview
3 Geology A layer of soil or rock, or a set of strata, with particular characteristics.
Example sentences
  • Throughflow occurs when there are significant changes in the density of different layers within the soil horizon.
  • It stands to reason that, if long intervals of time had elapsed between the supposedly-episodic lava flows, weathered horizons, and fossil soils should be common.
  • Palaeosol horizons are interbedded with these units, representing the pedogenic alteration of exposed floodplain sediments.
3.1 Archaeology A level of an excavated site representing a particular period: the upper horizon of the site showed an arrangement of two rows of features
More example sentences
  • It's an Archaic Stage site spanning the period 7500 BC through to AD 1200 in fourteen distinct cultural horizons represented by over 10.5m of stratigraphy.
  • This horizon represents the latest use of the fabric of the Roman city of Corinth that is now recognizable.
  • The attack on the mere probably refers to the crannog, and the destruction horizon may relate to this event.


on the horizon

Imminent or just becoming apparent: trouble could be on the horizon
More example sentences
  • Although the immediate signs are encouraging, there are dark clouds on the horizon.
  • Jack is pleased with himself but there are a few clouds on the horizon.
  • But they foresee clouds on the horizon with fears of new taxes and a growing national debt.
imminent, impending, close, near, approaching, coming, forthcoming, in prospect, at hand, on the way, about to happen, upon us, in the offing, in the pipeline, in the air, in the wind, in the wings, just around the corner;
brewing, looming, threatening, menacing
informal on the cards


Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin horizon, from Greek horizōn (kuklos) 'limiting (circle)'.

  • The word horizon came via late Latin horizon from Greek horizōn (kuklos) ‘limiting (circle)’.

Words that rhyme with horizon

bedizen, greisen, kaizen

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hori|zon

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