Meaning of horizon in English:


Pronunciation /həˈrʌɪz(ə)n/

See synonyms for horizon

Translate horizon into Spanish


  • 1The line at which the earth's surface and the sky appear to meet.

    ‘the sun rose above the horizon’
    • ‘In Athens they scarcely appear above the horizon, so the early Greek texts undermined their importance.’
    • ‘But it wasn't to be all plain sailing, the weather turned and what appeared to be a hurricane appeared over the horizon to the west.’
    • ‘Most of the time when you look at the sea you either look at the shore line or the horizon.’
    • ‘It was very high above horizon, and appeared large, but I could not tell its true size or distance.’
    • ‘He followed the clouds down until his eyes met the horizon, and he counted the numbers of soldiers on each side.’
    • ‘The light rays are bent to produce an image above the horizon, thereby shifting the direction in which the sun appears to set.’
    • ‘He looked out to the azure ocean, out to the horizon where sea met sky.’
    • ‘We could see the shadowed outline of the fabled Mitsio Islands on the pink and orange line of the horizon as we ate.’
    • ‘The sun's edge was already touching the line of the horizon and around it, the sky, the clouds, and the ocean were covered with a beautiful coat of orange.’
    • ‘Astronomers say the so-called ‘moon illusion’ means that a full moon close to the horizon appears much larger than when it is high in the sky.’
    • ‘Where do the horizon and the sky meet, where does the ground end and the air begin, can I draw a line and make myself ok, with statistics and exact numbers?’
    • ‘Why does the red color appear at the horizon during sunset?’
    • ‘On the morning of the 27th a waning crescent Moon appears on the southeastern horizon, well below and to the right of Venus.’
    • ‘At sunrise when the red sky is reflected in calm water and the line of the horizon disappears, I have a still, calm sense of blessedness.’
    • ‘In about two hours, when the sun was just peeking over the horizon, the group met in the grotto.’
    • ‘Row upon row of identical, featureless rectangular apartment blocks line up towards the horizon like vast tablets of stone handed down from the Politburo.’
    • ‘Victor stepped to the front of the lines and watched the horizon.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, another figure has appeared on the opposite horizon.’
    • ‘Dr Harding says the henges are a mirror image of Orion in its highest position with the southern entrances framing Sirius as it appeared over the horizon.’
    • ‘It travels forever in both directions, eventually curving far out of sight, just as it meets the horizon.’
    skyline, range of vision, field of view, vista, view
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The circular boundary of the part of the earth's surface visible from a particular point, ignoring irregularities and obstructions.
      ‘Clearly this verse refers to no more than the visible horizon that the dawn ‘grasps’ as the sun rises.’
      • ‘It felt exactly the way it feels in the simulator: a hard-to-control aircraft and no visible horizon.’
      • ‘His arms spread from his side and swept across the entire visible horizon.’
      • ‘In the summer months the Full Moon culminates lower and lower in the sky until it reaches its lowest position above the visible horizon at the Full Moon nearest the summer solstice.’
      • ‘To do so, I would look left and right to check that the wingtips where parallel with the visible horizon.’
      • ‘The way the information gets out seems to be that a true event horizon never forms, just an apparent horizon.’
      • ‘‘The way the information gets out [of a black hole] seems to be that a true event horizon never forms,’ said Hawking, ‘just an apparent horizon.’’
      • ‘It will be heading up from the horizon between Canis Major and Puppis in the SW.’
    2. 1.2Astronomy A great circle of the celestial sphere, the plane of which passes through the centre of the earth and is parallel to that of the apparent horizon of a place.
      ‘Jinx was startled to note that the horizon of the infinite plane wobbled unsteadily for a moment.’
      • ‘Approximately one degree of sign passes over the horizon every 5 minutes.’
      • ‘The interaction between the parts and the horizon brings the lunation cycle down to earth, projecting it, via the ascendant, into the sublunar sphere of the mundane houses.’
  • 2often horizonsThe limit of a person's knowledge, experience, or interest.

    ‘she wanted to leave home and broaden her horizons’
    • ‘For others, it's seen as a genuine adventure fuelled by the desire to broaden horizons and experience another culture.’
    • ‘And learning the language of one's country is a very valuable and intellectual experience which broadens the horizons of the traveller, both inside and outside Scotland.’
    • ‘Obtaining a certificate in forensic science will make them more suitable, attractive candidates, expand their horizons and broaden their knowledge.’
    • ‘Interesting speakers have extended the knowledge and horizons of members.’
    • ‘You never know what you can achieve if you don't give it a try and I don't want to limit my horizons.’
    • ‘But the idea that children are little more than cannon fodder for the exam system is more likely to limit horizons and enthusiasm for learning than it is to turn out a generation of high-achievers.’
    • ‘Their incomes are tiny, their horizons limited.’
    • ‘That support has created a second scientific revolution, opening horizons beyond previous human experience.’
    • ‘It limits our horizons, narrows our imaginations, and encourages an obsessive preoccupation on the personal and petty aspects of our lives.’
    • ‘The experience of work and travel will broaden horizons and may well open up totally new possibilities.’
    • ‘Montaigne described these pieces as Essais and thus coined a new literary term, but he professed to have no interest in expanding literary horizons or in educating his readers.’
    • ‘This means approaching artists, some of whom might never have gone outside of Soweto, with briefs, and encouraging them not only to expand their horizons but to meet deadlines for the completion of artworks.’
    • ‘For them we provide an international forum where they can widen their horizons and meet and interact with senior scholars in the field.’
    • ‘It's just that, I want to expand my horizons, meet new people, you know.’
    • ‘Cardiff is just the place to expand your culinary horizons, meet your canny Celtic cousins and do a little name-dropping.’
    • ‘For myself, the best part was expanding my horizons and meeting people I wouldn't have otherwise.’
    • ‘She has two daughters with him and accepts her fate in life until a skein of circumstances widens her horizons.’
    • ‘Some of them still had work, their lives were following a plan and a purpose, and their horizons, if not bright, were certainly visible.’
    • ‘Now, Blackwell is expanding his horizons to satisfy an audience that he feels has been ignored.’
    • ‘Mankind is constantly striving to expand his horizons, to push back the boundaries of the unknown, and to challenge himself further and further.’
    range of experience, outlook, perspective, scope, perception, compass, sphere, ambit, orbit, purview
    View synonyms
  • 3Geology
    A layer of soil or rock, or a set of strata, with particular characteristics.

    ‘Throughflow occurs when there are significant changes in the density of different layers within the soil horizon.’
    • ‘It stands to reason that, if long intervals of time had elapsed between the supposedly-episodic lava flows, weathered horizons, and fossil soils should be common.’
    • ‘Palaeosol horizons are interbedded with these units, representing the pedogenic alteration of exposed floodplain sediments.’
    • ‘Consequently, during the summer growing season the active layer of the soil horizon will normally be aerated.’
    • ‘Strata were examined in the field for evidence of fossil content, and those horizons that appeared to be fossiliferous were sampled in bulk.’
    1. 3.1Archaeology A level of an excavated site representing a particular period.
      ‘the upper horizon of the site showed an arrangement of two rows of features’
      • ‘It's an Archaic Stage site spanning the period 7500 BC through to AD 1200 in fourteen distinct cultural horizons represented by over 10.5m of stratigraphy.’
      • ‘This horizon represents the latest use of the fabric of the Roman city of Corinth that is now recognizable.’
      • ‘The attack on the mere probably refers to the crannog, and the destruction horizon may relate to this event.’
      • ‘It is the variety of imported cooking pots in assemblages 1 and 2 that distinguishes fifth-century horizons from those of the fourth century.’
      • ‘The combination of forms in use in a particular stratum defines each assemblage, and the relative sequence of the four horizons presented here is secure.’


    on the horizon
    • Imminent or just becoming apparent.

      ‘trouble could be on the horizon’
      • ‘Although the immediate signs are encouraging, there are dark clouds on the horizon.’
      • ‘Jack is pleased with himself but there are a few clouds on the horizon.’
      • ‘But they foresee clouds on the horizon with fears of new taxes and a growing national debt.’
      • ‘He added there were no major clouds on the horizon and no question of a housing market crash.’
      • ‘There are dark clouds on the horizon, but unfortunately they are not carrying rain.’
      • ‘For economists, even when the sun is shining there's always a cloud on the horizon.’
      • ‘Big bucks loomed on the horizon; he would go back home to China a wealthy man.’
      • ‘Across the world, conflicts over increasingly scarce water loom large on the horizon.’
      • ‘Today, the greatest threat of pandemic yet to appear in modern times is on the horizon.’
      • ‘The only cloud on the horizon has been the news that clinical trials in America may have to be pushed back.’


Late Middle English via Old French from late Latin horizon, from Greek horizōn (kuklos) ‘limiting (circle)’.