Share this entry

Share this page


Line breaks: top¦og|raphy
Pronunciation: /təˈpɒɡrəfi

Definition of topography in English:

noun (plural topographies)

[mass noun]
1The arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area: the topography of the island
More example sentences
  • The site plan responds to the site's topography, respecting natural arroyos and ridges.
  • However, there is a potential for increased tourism because of the natural beauty and varied topography and because the country is unspoiled and inexpensive.
  • It lies on a chalk knoll, its natural topography having been sculptured and modelled through successive phases of construction and reconstruction.
1.1 [count noun] A detailed description or representation on a map of the physical features of an area.
Example sentences
  • The exhibition studies immigration patterns in the region as well as the blend of the urban, suburban and wilderness topographies of West Coast cities.
  • Exploration, like with Knights of the Old Republic, is performed in fully rendered 3D environments that are loaded with tons of detail, assorted interactive personalities, and large open range topographies.
  • And this percentage is even greater when aerial topographies are used.
2 Anatomy & Biology The distribution of parts or features on the surface of or within an organ or organism.
Example sentences
  • The use of atomic force microscopy has recently allowed measurement of the endothelial surface topography in vitro for the first time.
  • The outcome of infection depends mainly on the severity and topography of histological gastritis, which may be determined by the age at which infection is acquired.
  • Second, the cellular surface topography is different.


late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek topographia, from topos 'place' + -graphia (see -graphy).



Example sentences
  • Using various perspectives allows the investigator to map technical core activities, managerial-level actions, and strategies at the institutional level, not unlike topographers mapping terrain.
  • 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.
  • He and his colleagues borrowed ideas from photogrammetry, a technique used by topographers and aerial surveyors to create three-dimensional views from two-dimensional images.

Definition of topography in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ˈɔːθəʊɛpi
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words