Contour is the outline or shape of something. A shoe that fits well along the contours or shape of your foot is a good fit.

Contour comes from the Italian contorno meaning "to draw a line," which is precisely what you are doing when you trace the contour of something. A road that contours a mountain follows along its edge and a mattress that contours to your body, adjusts to your shape. You might buy the kind of shoes that are designed to contour or mold to the shape of your feet over time, in which case you'll have to break them in.

Definitions of contour

n a line drawn on a map connecting points of equal height

contour line
a line following the lowest points of a valley
Type of:
isometric, isometric line
a line connecting isometric points

n any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline)

configuration, conformation, form, shape
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keenness, sharpness
thinness of edge or fineness of point
bluntness, dullness
without sharpness or clearness of edge or point
the configuration of a surface and the relations among its man-made and natural features
the property of having lobules
concaveness, concavity
the property possessed by a concave shape
convexity, convexness
the property possessed by a convex shape
the property possessed by a shape that has angles
an instance of becoming narrow
curvature, curve
the property possessed by the curving of a line or surface
the property possessed by a line or surface that is curved and not angular
freedom from crooks or curves or bends or angles
having or distinguished by crooks or curves or bends or angles
a layered configuration
the quality of having a sharp edge or point
the quality of lacking a sharp edge or point
the property of having a sunken area
bulginess, roundedness
the property possessed by a rounded convexity
(biology) a narrowing or constriction of a vessel or canal; especially a congenital narrowing of the aorta
the property possessed by a shape that narrows toward a point (as a wedge or cone)
oblongness, rectangularity
the property of being shaped like a rectangle
the property of being shaped like a triangle
globosity, globularness, rotundity, rotundness, sphericalness, sphericity
the roundness of a 3-dimensional object
cylindricality, cylindricalness
the roundness of a 3-dimensional cylinder
circularity, disk shape
the roundness of a 2-dimensional figure
curliness, waviness
(of hair) a tendency to curl
(of hair) lack of a tendency to curl
bottleneck, chokepoint, constriction
a narrowing that reduces the flow through a channel
Type of:
spatial property, spatiality
any property relating to or occupying space

n a feature (or the order or arrangement of features) of anything having a complex structure

“the contours of the melody”
“it defines a major contour of this administration”
Type of:
characteristic, feature
a prominent attribute or aspect of something

v form the contours of

contour economically or efficiently
Type of:
delineate, limn, outline
trace the shape of

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