• WordNet 3.6
    • v contour form the contours of
    • n contour any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline) "he could barely make out their shapes"
    • n contour a feature (or the order or arrangement of features) of anything having a complex structure "the contours of the melody","it defines a major contour of this administration"
    • n contour a line drawn on a map connecting points of equal height
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Contour The outline of a figure or body, or the line or lines representing such an outline; the line that bounds; periphery. "Titian's coloring and contours ."
    • Contour (Mil) The outline of a horizontal section of the ground, or of works of fortification.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n contour The outline of a figure or body; the line that defines or bounds anything; the periphery considered as distinct from the object: used chiefly in speaking of rounded or sinuous bodies.
    • n contour Specifically— In the fine arts, a line or lines representing the outline of any figure.
    • n contour In fortification, the horizontal outline of works of defense. When the conformation of the ground or works is described by contours or horizontal sections, these sections are taken at some fixed vertical interval from each other suited to the scale of the drawing or the subject in hand; and the distances of the surface, at each interval, above or below some assumed plane of comparison, are given in figures at the most convenient places on the plan.
    • n contour In surveying, a curve of equal elevation on a map; a contourline.
    • n contour In mathematics, a closed curve considered as inclosing an area.
    • contour To make a contour or outline of; mark with contours or contour-lines: as, contoured maps.
    • contour To follow a level line on an irregular slope; imitate the path of a contour-line.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Contour kon′tōōr or kon-tōōr′ the outline: the line which bounds the figure of any object
    • v.t Contour to mark with contour lines
    • n Contour kon′tōōr or kon-tōōr′, the outline: the line which bounds the figure of any object
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. contour, fr. contourner, to mark the outlines; con-, + tourner, to turn. See Turn
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. con, and tour, a turning—L. tornus—Gr. tornos, a lathe.


In literature:

The contours of the upper and lower jaw and teeth, and of the palatal arch are never found to be exactly alike.
"The Head Voice and Other Problems" by D. A. Clippinger
If you were to draw two close parallel zigzag lines it would give you some idea of the contour of these teeth.
"Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon" by Robert A. Sterndale
Three inches on the map is equal to 1 mile on the ground, contour intervals of 20 feet.
"The Plattsburg Manual" by O.O. Ellis and E.B. Garey
It has, primarily, some of the nakedness, some of the sheerness of contour, toward which the modern men aspire.
"Musical Portraits" by Paul Rosenfeld
It's apparent that there must have been some world-wide cataclysm here to change the contours of the land masses so much.
"Key Out of Time" by Andre Alice Norton
The crockets and finials of this style, as decorative embellishments, are peculiarly graceful, chaste, and pleasing in contour.
"The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture, Elucidated by Question and Answer, 4th ed." by Matthew Holbeche Bloxam
The channel contours were changed somewhat in this portion of the stream.
"The Passaic Flood of 1903" by Marshall Ora Leighton
In this drawing of Holbein's, the hand being seen against the light, the outline goes inside the contour of the fingers.
"Lectures on Landscape" by John Ruskin
That face was of perfect contour.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 97, November, 1865" by Various
She was tall, and had the contours of a strong though graceful girl just blooming into womanhood.
"The Call of the Blood" by Robert Smythe Hichens
A man was standing before her, whose face, despite its youthful contours, was deep-lined and melancholy.
"The Lion's Brood" by Duffield Osborne
Late in the afternoon they halted for rest and to study their map and the contour of the mountains at that point.
"Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders Among the Kentucky Mountaineers" by Jessie Graham Flower
The smooth contour of Cicely's arm never varied.
"Round About a Great Estate" by Richard Jefferies
And the contour of the cliff was plainly visible in front of it.
"The White Invaders" by Raymond King Cummings
The colors have faded considerably, but the general contour and the features are well preserved.
"Dulcibel" by Henry Peterson
But the features were nonhuman, closer to saurian in contour.
"Storm Over Warlock" by Andre Norton
The sensation wishes to find a form on which to mold the vagueness of its contours.
"Dreams" by Henri Bergson
At each moment the contours of her virginal figure revealed fresh charms.
"A Hungarian Nabob" by Maurus Jókai
She sat with her hands in her lap, their fresh color and dimpled contour concealed by black lace half-gloves.
"The Old Folks' Party" by Edward Bellamy
My plan was to change over to a contour operation.
"Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Thirty-Eighth Annual Meeting" by Northern Nut Growers Association

In poetry:

Among the hills a meteorite
Lies huge; and moss has overgrown,
And wind and rain with touches light
Made soft, the contours of the stone.
"The Meteorite" by C S Lewis
AS evening shaped I found me on a moor
Which sight could scarce sustain:
The black lean land, of featureless contour,
Was like a tract in pain.
"A Meeting With Despair" by Thomas Hardy
'While yesterday his worn contours
Convinced me that love like his endures,
And that my troth-plight
Had been his, in fact, and not truly yours.'
"A Conversation At Dawn" by Thomas Hardy
Try as she will, the trackless world delivers
No way, the wilderness of light no sign;
Immense,complex contours of hills and rivers
Mock her small wisdom with their vast design.
"Death of the Bird " by A D Hope
Hush, says the sameness of the snow
The Ural and Jura now rejoin
The furthest Arctic's desolation. All is one;
Sheer monotone: plain, mountain; country, town:
Contours and boundaries no longer show.
"Snow in Europe" by David Gascoyne
Ah! Strange, that such a form should stand
In raiment soiled, and travel stained;
Yes, mark the contour of that hand,
A hand by menial toil profaned.
Can one from such a station reach
All classes by sheer force of speech?
"Echoes From Galilee." by Alfred Castner King

In news:

True, dunes by nature are transient landscape features, gaining, losing and shifting contours as the seasons change.
Maybe the sharp contours of Lane County's political landscape are softening.
Then there was the 1996 Ford Contour, which wasn't as bad but still had the potential failures .
Solving the Case of the Shrinking Woven Contour Sheets.
The contours of the presidential race remain much the same, with Obama and Republican Mitt Romney locked in a tight contest and both campaigns predicting victory.
Among the most lavish accommodations in the British Virgin Islands, the luxurious villas are discreetly nestled within the contours of Scrub Island, blending beautifully with the island's natural topography.
The contours laid out in op-ed are similar to the plan currently being pushed by [Mayors Ag.
The result is a protective mask , a precise representation of the patient's facial contours.
Carter Orthopedics LTD. Contour Form Products Inc. Franklin Health Care.
Available for SIG SAUER P220, P226, P229 and P250 pistol models, these SIG SAUER-brand holsters are made of durable, black polymer and feature contoured paddles for a comfortable and secure fit without requireing a belt.
The slim pear head ratchet with quick release has the slimmest of profiles with a contoured head for optimal access to tight spaces.
Vanity Fair Fits You Perfectly Full Coverage Contour Bra.
Great-grandfather of TVA's contour plowing .
For sanding curves and contours, it's hard to beat a pneumatic sander.

In science:

This is illustrated in Figure 8 which displays in the left panels the white VLA H I contours on the color WFPC2 F814W image, in the middle panels the yellow MDM-1.3m Hα contours on the WFPC2 image and in the right panels the combined H I and Hα contours on the WFPC2 image.
Star Formation and Tidal Encounters with the Low Surface Brightness Galaxy UGC 12695 and Companions
The white contours are from the VLA H I map while the yellow contours are from the MDM-1.3m Hα image.
Star Formation and Tidal Encounters with the Low Surface Brightness Galaxy UGC 12695 and Companions
The integrand is an analytic function inside the contour, hence the integral over the entire contour is zero.
Tails of probability density for sums of random independent variables
The dashed (dotted) contour C1 (C2) corresponds to the deformed contour defined in the text.
Diffusion corrections to the hard pomeron
The formulas for the matrix entries and trace hold for all r by analytic continuation if the z2 contour is inside the z1 contour and the latter has r on the inside and −1 on the outside; the z2 contour has 0 on the inside.
On Convergence of Moments for Random Young Tableaux and a Random Growth Model
Contour traversal and contour pair (E , V ) of a tree.
Random Planar Lattices and Integrated SuperBrownian Excursion
Because of the analytic continuation properties of f and g , we can take as the contour of integration in (4.3.4) the contour γ depicted in Figure 4.3.2.
Additive functionals on random search trees
When we deform the z and w contours in the direction of ∓g (φ) as in Fig. 7, we pick up the residue of the integrand at z = w whenever we push the z -contour inside the the w -contour.
The uses of random partitions
So we have to shift the a integration contour to include an imaginary part −isap1 − E 2/4 and the b contour to include an imaginary part −iE /2.
Random Matrices and the Anderson Model
Such a shift precisely occurs in the supersymmetric formalism of the previous section: the contour for the mean fields a and b has been shifted to pass through a non trivial saddle point that lied out of the original integration contour.
Random Matrices and the Anderson Model
In every map, each oriented edge appears either in the contour of some face of the map or in a contour of the map.
Diagrams with Selection and Method for Constructing Boundedly Generated and Boundedly Simple Groups
The contours of faces in a disc map may be thought of as oriented counterclockwise, and the contour of the map itself may be thought of as oriented clockwise (this convention corresponds to the way a disc map is usually pictured).
Diagrams with Selection and Method for Constructing Boundedly Generated and Boundedly Simple Groups
An arc which is incident to some face is either internal (does not lie on any of the contours of the map) or external (lies on some contour of the map).
Diagrams with Selection and Method for Constructing Boundedly Generated and Boundedly Simple Groups
Since the map Φ′ is non-degenerate, it has two distinct maximal simple disc submaps Φ1 and Φ2 , whose contours have representatives which are subpaths of the contour of Φ′ .
Diagrams with Selection and Method for Constructing Boundedly Generated and Boundedly Simple Groups
Let pi be the representative of the contour of Φi which is a subpath of the contour of Φ′ , i = 1, 2.
Diagrams with Selection and Method for Constructing Boundedly Generated and Boundedly Simple Groups