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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1893; see land (n.) + form (n.). Perhaps immediately from German Landform.


n. Any geological feature, such as a mountain or valley


A landform is a natural feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms together make up a given terrain, and their arrangement in the landscape is known as topography. Typical landforms include hills, mountains, plateaus, canyons, valleys, as well as shoreline features such as bays, peninsulas, and seas, including submerged features such as mid-ocean ridges, volcanoes, and the great ocean basins

Usage examples of "landform".

The fourth side of the square was the nearly vertical face of a Maracandan landform about the same size as the buildings, striped with a converging pattern of natural grooves and ridges that looked very artificial.

After looking around once more, Bulaboldo led the way behind a towering landform topped by a natural bulge in the shape of an onion dome.

Venus, occasionally a peculiar landform swims into view - as, for example, a rough portrait of Joseph Stalin discovered by American geologists analysing Soviet orbital radar imagery.

Now the landform in the distance was a broad peninsula, and Greighton could see a sliver of ocean on the far side.

Upwelling magma lifted a fantastic variety of ancient rock to the top of the Spine, so that every imaginable landform can be found there.

About thirty meters from the foot of the purple slope, a human figure was standing, almost concealed, behind a pyramidal landform truncated at about shoulder height.

Twenty meters away a mausoleum made from a native landform changed shape suddenly, half a wall of it sliding into a hole in the ground that had not been there a few seconds earlier.

But Ditmars had imagined for just a moment that the almost-sound proceeded from where Rosalys lay, and in that moment he held his breath while his undermind waited willingly to have the universe of sanity and law melt like an Azlarocean landform when the world below it stirred.

The landform and its proximity to the coast made it ideal for agricultural growth.

The morning was spent in following a winding road, or trail, between chains of towering hills, and across and around other landforms more than ordinarily spectacular.

At last there came an hour when the caravan emerged from a deep notch between tall, irregular landforms, each a different color, to confront a sprawl of the peculiar Maracandan buildings, and it was obvious that they had found their destination.

Road signs were scarce, but Bulaboldo had no problem finding his way, steering dexterously among the towering landforms, going around some ominous gaping holes in the landscape.

Alan had dragged Kloskurb away, wanting to consult him on some landforms in the middle distance, but Lily lingered with her two former traveling companions.

Grass, trees, landforms all formed outlines in energy and then solidified into reality.

Uniformitarianism will crumble away when we present conclusive proof that modern landforms were chiefly shaped by the waters of the Noachian deluge.