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horizon

[huh-rahy-zuh n] /həˈraɪ zən/
noun
1.
the line or circle that forms the apparent boundary between earth and sky.
2.
Astronomy.
  1. the small circle of the celestial sphere whose plane is tangent to the earth at the position of a given observer, or the plane of such a circle (sensible horizon)
  2. Also called rational horizon. the great circle of the celestial sphere whose plane passes through the center of the earth and is parallel to the sensible horizon of a given position, or the plane of such a circle (celestial horizon)
3.
the limit or range of perception, knowledge, or the like.
4.
Usually, horizons. the scope of a person's interest, education, understanding, etc.:
His horizons were narrow.
5.
Geology. a thin, distinctive stratum useful for stratigraphic correlation.
6.
any of the series of distinctive layers found in a vertical cross section of any well-developed soil.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; < Latin horizōn < Greek horízōn (kýklos) bounding (circle), equivalent to horíz(ein) to bound, limit + -ōn present participle suffix (nominative singular); replacing Middle English orizonte < Middle French < Latin horizontem, accusative of horizōn
Synonyms
4. world, perspective, domain, viewpoint.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for horizons
  • Shining backwards, singing downwards towards horizons blue and bay.
  • Complexity had extended itself on immense horizons, and arithmetical ratios were useless for any attempt at accuracy.
  • History and science spread out in personal horizons towards goals no longer far away.
  • There can no more be three unities in the drama than three horizons in a picture.
  • Expand your literary horizons and try getting wrapped up in a bit of lit from another part of the world.
  • And how liberated they must have been as they pedaled their wheels toward new horizons.
  • They say the star breaks into two or more self-gravitating parts that each develop their own event horizons.
  • We can observe this structure of subtle event horizons from inside as a foamy streaks of dark matter.
  • Indeed, it is new or more sensitive technology that can open up new horizons in biology.
  • They are ever vexed by anxiety about their diminishing horizons and fading looks.
British Dictionary definitions for horizons

horizon

/həˈraɪzən/
noun
1.
Also called visible horizon, apparent horizon. the apparent line that divides the earth and the sky
2.
(astronomy)
  1. Also called sensible horizon. the circular intersection with the celestial sphere of the plane tangential to the earth at the position of the observer
  2. Also called celestial horizon. the great circle on the celestial sphere, the plane of which passes through the centre of the earth and is parallel to the sensible horizon
3.
the range or limit of scope, interest, knowledge, etc
4.
a thin layer of rock within a stratum that has a distinct composition, esp of fossils, by which the stratum may be dated
5.
a layer in a soil profile having particular characteristics See A horizon, B horizon, C horizon
6.
on the horizon, likely or about to happen or appear
Derived Forms
horizonless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin, from Greek horizōn kuklos limiting circle, from horizein to limit, from horos limit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for horizons

horizon

n.

late 14c., orisoun, from Old French orizon (14c., Modern French horizon), earlier orizonte (13c.), from Latin horizontem (nominative horizon), from Greek horizon kyklos "bounding circle," from horizein "bound, limit, divide, separate," from horos "boundary." The h- was restored 17c. in imitation of Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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horizons in Science
horizon
  (hə-rī'zən)   
    1. The apparent intersection of the Earth and sky as seen by an observer. Also called apparent horizon.

    2. See celestial horizon.

    3. See sensible horizon.

    4. A specific position in a stratigraphic column, such as the location of one or more fossils, that serves to identify the stratum with a particular period.

    5. A specific layer of soil or subsoil in a vertical cross-section of land.

  1. Geology

    1. A specific position in a stratigraphic column, such as the location of one or more fossils, that serves to identify the stratum with a particular period.

    2. A specific layer of soil or subsoil in a vertical cross-section of land.

  2. Archaeology A period during which the influence of a particular culture spread rapidly over a defined area.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with horizons
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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