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limits or boundaries of a tract of land as identified by natural landmarks, such as rivers, or by man-made structures, such as roads, or by stakes or other markers. A principal legal type of land description in the United States, metes-and-bounds descriptions are commonly used wherever survey areas are irregular in size and shape. The land boundaries are run out by courses and distances, and monuments, natural or artificial, are fixed at the corners, or angles. A course is the direction of a line, usually with respect to a meridian but sometimes with respect to the magnetic north. Distance is the length of a course measured in some well-known unit, such as feet or chains