Ho*ri"zon (?), n. [F., fr. L. horizon, fr. Gr. (sc. ) the bounding line, horizon, fr. to bound, fr. boundary, limit.]


The circle 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.

And when the morning sun shall raise his car Above the border of this horizon. Shak.

All the horizon round Invested with bright rays. Milton.

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.


A plane parallel to the sensible horizon of a place, and passing through the earth's center; -- called also rational ∨ celestial horizon.

(c) Naut.

The unbroken line separating sky and water, as seen by an eye at a given elevation, no land being visible.

3. Geol.

The epoch or time during which a deposit was made.

The strata all over the earth, which were formed at the same time, are said to belong to the same geological horizon. Le Conte.

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.

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.


© Webster 1913.