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Alternative forms




oro- (mountain) +‎ -graphy





orography (usually uncountable, plural orographies)

  1. (geomorphology) the scientific study, or a physical description of mountains
    • 1846, Joseph Emerson Worcester, A universal and critical dictionary of the English language: to which are added Walker's Key to the pronunciation of classical and Scripture proper names, much enlarged and improved, and a pronouncing vocabulary of modern geographical names[1], Boston: Wilkins, Carter, and Company, published 1849, page 501:
      Orography: A description of mountains.
    • 1853, Edward Hitchcock, “The Geology of the Globe”, in Outline of the Geology of the Globe and of the United States in Particular with Sketches of Characteristic American Fossils.[2], Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Company, page 10:
      A knowledge of the Hydrography of a country aids as much in determining its geology as does its Orography, — that is, a description of its mountains.
  2. the orographic features of a region
    • 1911, “Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition”, in Africa:
      Morocco was in 1883-1884 the scene of important explorations by de Foucauld, a Frenchman who, disguised as a Jew, crossed and re-crossed the Atlas and supplied the first trustworthy information as to the orography of many parts of the chain.
    • 1995, B. W. Atkinson, “Introduction to the fluid mechanics of meso-scale flow fields”, in A. Gyr, Franz-S. Rys, editors, Diffusion and Transport of Pollutants in Atmospheric Mesoscale Flow Fields, page 20:
      Most flows actually occur, of course, over non-uniform orography and consequently in numerical models of such flows it is necessary to transform the coordinates so that the equations accurately represent flows in such terrain (Gal-Chen and Somerville 1975).
    • 2006, Austin Woods, Medium-Range Weather Prediction: The European Approach, page 105:
      The independent scientists of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) expressed concerns about how the spectral model would deal with steep mountains. [] It was this work that lead to development of the envelope orography outlined below.




  • OED 2004 (online)