Definition of horizon in English:


Line breaks: hori|zon
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.
    More 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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
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    • 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.


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

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