Definition of topography in English:

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Pronunciation: /təˈpɒɡrəfi/

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.



Pronunciation: /təˈpɒɡrəfə/
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.


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

  • utopia from mid 16th century:

    The English scholar and statesman Sir Thomas More wrote Utopia in Latin in 1516, depicting an imaginary island enjoying a perfect social, legal, and political system. The name implies that such an ideal place exists ‘nowhere’, as More created it from Greek ou ‘not’, and topos ‘place’ the source of terms such as topography (mid 17th century), the arrangement of the physical features of an area. In the 17th century other writers started using utopia for other imaginary places where everything is perfect. The opposite of a utopia is a dystopia where everything is as bad as possible, a word formed in the late 18th century from Greek dus- ‘bad’, as if More had formed the word from Greek eu- ‘good’. Cacotopia or kakotopia (early 19th century) are less popular alternatives to dystopia. Topia has recently come to be used as a combining form for new words such as ecotopia, an ideal ecological world; motopia, a slightly misleading term as it means an ideal world where the use of cars is limited; pornotopia, the ideal setting for pornography; queuetopia, a far from ideal world of long queues; and subtopia, the ideal suburban world.

Words that rhyme with topography

autobiography, bibliography, biography, cardiography, cartography, chirography, choreography, chromatography, cinematography, cosmography, cryptography, demography, discography, filmography, geography, hagiography, historiography, hydrography, iconography, lexicography, lithography, oceanography, orthography, palaeography (US paleography), photography, radiography, reprography, stenography, typography

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: top¦og|raphy

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