AskDefine | Define skyline

Dictionary Definition



1 the outline of objects seen against the sky
2 the line at which the sky and Earth appear to meet [syn: horizon, apparent horizon, visible horizon, sensible horizon]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The silhouette of a city.


Extensive Definition

A skyline is best described as the overall or partial view of a silhouette of a city's tall buildings and structures consisting of many skyscrapers in front of the sky in the background. It can also be described as the artificial horizon that a city's overall structure creates. Skylines serve as a kind of fingerprint of a city, as no two skylines are alike. For this reason news and sports programs, television shows, and movies often display the skyline of a city to set location.
Skylines that are stretched out to a large (sometimes panoramic) view because of large cities or twin cities are called cityscapes. In many metropolises, skyscrapers play a significant role in defining the skyline.
Paul D. Spreiregen, FAIA, has called a skyline "a physical representation [of a city's] facts of life ... a potential work of art ... its collective vista."
In general, larger cities have broader and taller skylines, though lower density cities often have smaller skylines than expected for city size. Taller buildings are found where either land value or desire for visibility is higher, and the tallest buildings in a city are usually office buildings. Because of this, the skyline of a city can be seen as symbolic of its influence and economy.


Skyline on
skyline in Danish: Skyline
skyline in German: Skyline
skyline in Spanish: Panorama urbano
skyline in French: Panorama urbain
skyline in Italian: Skyline
skyline in Dutch: Stedelijk silhouet
skyline in Japanese: スカイライン (風景)
skyline in Polish: Skyline (panorama)
skyline in Portuguese: Corte Aéreo
skyline in Slovak: Skyline
skyline in Swedish: Skyline
skyline in Yiddish: סקייליין
skyline in Chinese: 天際線
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