horizon


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Horizon \Ho*ri"zon\, n. [F., fr. L. horizon, fr. Gr. ? (sc. ?)
   the bounding line, horizon, fr. ? to bound, fr. ? boundary,
   limit.]
   1. The line which bounds that part of the earth's surface
      visible to a spectator from a given point; the apparent
      junction of the earth and sky.
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            And when the morning sun shall raise his car
            Above the border of this horizon.     --Shak.
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            All the horizon round
            Invested with bright rays.            --Milton.
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   2. (Astron.)
      (a) A plane passing through the eye of the spectator and
          at right angles to the vertical at a given place; a
          plane tangent to the earth's surface at that place;
          called distinctively the sensible horizon.
      (b) A plane parallel to the sensible horizon of a place,
          and passing through the earth's center; -- called also
          rational horizon or celestial horizon.
      (c) (Naut.) The unbroken line separating sky and water, as
          seen by an eye at a given elevation, no land being
          visible.
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   3. (Geol.) The epoch or time during which a deposit was made.
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            The strata all over the earth, which were formed at
            the same time, are said to belong to the same
            geological horizon.                   --Le Conte.
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   4. (Painting) The chief horizontal line in a picture of any
      sort, which determines in the picture the height of the
      eye of the spectator; in an extended landscape, the
      representation of the natural horizon corresponds with
      this line.
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   5. The limit of a person's range of perception, capabilities,
      or experience; as, children raised in the inner city have
      limited horizons.
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   6. [fig.] A boundary point or line, or a time point, beyond
      which new knowledge or experiences may be found; as, more
      powerful computers are just over the horizon.
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   Apparent horizon. See under Apparent.

   Artificial horizon, a level mirror, as the surface of
      mercury in a shallow vessel, or a plane reflector adjusted
      to the true level artificially; -- used chiefly with the
      sextant for observing the double altitude of a celestial
      body.

   Celestial horizon. (Astron.) See def. 2, above.

   Dip of the horizon (Astron.), the vertical angle between
      the sensible horizon and a line to the visible horizon,
      the latter always being below the former.

   Rational horizon, and Sensible horizon. (Astron.) See
      def. 2, above.

   Visible horizon. See definitions 1 and 2, above.
      [1913 Webster]
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