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Glossary of Geography Terms
beginning with letter C
Browse the Geography Glossary
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calf Tweet Definition of calf Like Definition of calf on Facebook
noun (calves or, less often, calfs)
  1. A young cow or bull.
  2. A young elephant, seal or whale (italbrac, also used of some other animals).
  3. A chunk of ice broken off of a larger glacier, ice shelf, or iceberg.
calve Tweet Definition of calve Like Definition of calve on Facebook
verb ; intransitive
  1. To give birth.
  2. (figuratively) Especially of an iceberg, glacier, etc. to break off or shed a large piece.
"The sea was dangerous because of icebergs calving off the nearby glacier."
cartography Tweet Definition of cartography Like Definition of cartography on Facebook
noun
  1. The creation of charts and maps based on the layout of a territory's geography.
cascade Tweet Definition of cascade Like Definition of cascade on Facebook
noun
  1. A waterfall or series of small waterfalls
Now murm'ring soft, now roaring in . -Cawper
  1. (figuratively) A stream or sequence of a thing or things occurring as if falling like a cascade.
The rise in serotonin levels sets off a of chemical events — Richard M. Restak, The Secret Life of the Brain, Joseph Henry Press, 2001
  1. A series of electrical components, the output of any one being connected to the input of the next; See also daisy chain
verb (cascad, ing)
  1. (intransitive) To fall as a waterfall or series of small waterfalls.
  2. To occur as a causal sequence.
  3. (archaic) (slang) To vomit.
cataclysm Tweet Definition of cataclysm Like Definition of cataclysm on Facebook
noun
  1. A sudden, violent event.
  2. A sudden and violent change in the earth's crust.
  3. A great flood.
chart Tweet Definition of chart Like Definition of chart on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, Chart, Chart (graph))
  1. A map for a very particular purpose, such as shipping or aeroplanes/airplanes, showing information useful for that purpose and ignoring most other information.
  1. (topology) A subspace of a manifold used as part of an atlas
    1. A graphical presentation of something.
verb
  1. To draw a chart or map.
  2. To draw or figure out a route or plan.
"Let's how we're going to get from here to there."
  1. intrans. (of a record) appear on a hit-recording chart.
"The song has charted for 1500 weeks!"
chasm Tweet Definition of chasm Like Definition of chasm on Facebook
noun
  1. A deep, steep-sided rift, gap or fissure; a gorge or abyss
  2. (context, by extension) A large difference of opinion.
coastline Tweet Definition of coastline Like Definition of coastline on Facebook
noun (plural:coastlines)
  1. The shape, outline, or boundary of a coast.
compass Tweet Definition of compass Like Definition of compass on Facebook
noun
  1. A magnetic or electronic device used to determine the cardinal directions (usually magnetic north).
  2. A pair of compasses (a device used with a pencil to draw an arc or circle on paper).
  3. (obsolete) A space within limits; area.
    • 1763, M. Le Page Du Pratz, History of Louisiana (PG), p. 47.
    • In going up the Missisippi sic, we meet with nothing remarkable before we come to the Detour aux Anglois, the English Reach: in that part the river takes a large .
      1. scope
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. ยง 8.
    • : there is a truth and falsehood in all propositions on this subjectr, and a truth and falsehood, which lie not beyond the of human understanding.
verb (compass, es)
  1. To surround; to encircle; to environ; to stretch round.
  2. To go about or round entirely; to traverse.
  3. (rfv-sense) To accomplish; to reach; to achieve; to obtain.
  4. (rfv-sense) To plot; to scheme (against someone).
adverb
  1. (obsolete) In a circuit; round about.
    • 1658, Near the same plot of ground, for about six yards compasse were digged up coals and incinerated substances " Sir Thomas Browne, Urne-Burial (Penguin 2005, p. 9)
confluence Tweet Definition of confluence Like Definition of confluence on Facebook
noun
  1. The place where two rivers, streams, or other continuously flowing bodies of water meet and become one, especially where a tributary joins a river.
We encountered an abandoned boat at the of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
  1. The act of combine, combining which occurs at the place where rivers and the like meet.
The of the rivers produced a great rush of water.
  1. A convergence or combination of forces, people, or things.
The of our skills resulted in a successful home renovation project.
continent Tweet Definition of continent Like Definition of continent on Facebook
noun
  1. A large contiguous landmass that is at least partially surrounded by water, together with any islands on its continental shelf
adjective
  1. exercising continence
continental Tweet Definition of continental Like Definition of continental on Facebook
adjective
  1. Of or relating to a continent or continents.
continental drift
  1. In the main part of a country or region, as opposed to on one of its islands.
continental Europe
  1. (especially in the UK) Characteristic of the style of continental Europe, as opposed to British.
continental breakfast
continental shelf Tweet Definition of continental shelf Like Definition of continental shelf on Facebook
noun
  1. (nautical) The area of sea around a land mass where the depth gradually increases before it plunges into the ocean deeps
continental slope Tweet Definition of continental slope Like Definition of continental slope on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) The steep, narrow fringe separating the coastal zone from the deep ocean
cordillera Tweet Definition of cordillera Like Definition of cordillera on Facebook
noun
  1. An extensive, continent-wide chain of mountains, especially one in the Americas

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