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[tim-ber-lahyn] /ˈtɪm bərˌlaɪn/
the altitude above sea level at which timber ceases to grow.
the arctic or antarctic limit of tree growth.
Also called tree line.
Origin of timberline
1865-70, Americanism; timber + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for timberline
Historical Examples
  • Meadows, little strips of alpine freshness, begin before the timberline is reached.

  • Already weak, they did not get down to timberline the first day.

    Watched by Wild Animals Enos A. Mills
  • The territory dominated by old “timberline” had an area of about eighty square miles.

    The Grizzly Enos A. Mills
  • Beech trees appear at all elevations between 3,000 feet and the timberline.

    Area Handbook for Albania Eugene K. Keefe
  • I was so near that with my field-glasses I recognized him as “Old timberline,” a bear with two right front toes missing.

    The Grizzly Enos A. Mills
  • In this varied and extensive region old "timberline" had all the necessities of life and many of the luxuries of beardom.

    The Grizzly Enos A. Mills
  • Out of the worst of the wind, they skied easily back down towards the timberline.

    The Thirst Quenchers Rick Raphael
  • Here, close to timberline, the watershed between the two oceans is again crossed.

    Rocky Mountain [Colorado] National Park United States Dept. of the Interior
  • Old timberline started down into a caon as though to descend a gully diagonally to the bottom.

    The Grizzly Enos A. Mills
  • All have had to cross their Badlands, ride roughshod above the timberline or grab for cover to avoid a ricochet.

    The Land of Look Behind Paul Cameron Brown
British Dictionary definitions for timberline


the altitudinal or latitudinal limit of normal tree growth See also tree line
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 timberline

1867, from timber + line (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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timberline in Science
A geographic boundary beyond which trees cannot grow. On the Earth as a whole, the timberline is the northernmost or southernmost latitude at which trees can survive; in a mountainous region, it is the highest elevation at which trees can survive. Also called tree line.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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