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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
  • Watch the weather, especially if you are climbing above the timberline.
  • timberline is not a base area, so the ticket checkers do not need to check your ticket.
  • If threatening weather is in the area, don't climb, because there is no protection from lightning once you are above timberline.
  • Mountain goats prefer extremely steep and rugged areas above the timberline, and are excellent rock climbers.
  • They live on rocky crags at or above timberline, where they feed on high-mountain vegetation.
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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