a. A representation, usually on a plane surface, of a region of the earth, intended primarily to provide information about the relative location or nature of features within that region.
b. A similar representation of a region of the sky or of a celestial object: a map of the constellations of the southern hemisphere.
c. Something that suggests such a representation, as in clarity of representation: a map of the human genome.
2. Mathematics The correspondence of elements in one set to elements in the same set or another set.
3. Slang The human face.
4. Genetics A genetic map.
tr.v. mapped, map·ping, mapsIdioms:
a. To make a map of.
b. To depict as if on a map: Grief was mapped on his face.
2. To explore or make a survey of (a region) for the purpose of making a map.
3. To plan or delineate, especially in detail; arrange: mapping out her future.
4. Genetics To locate (a gene or DNA sequence) in a specific region of a chromosome in relation to known genes or DNA sequences.
5. Mathematics To establish a mapping of (an element or a set).
all over the map
1. In, from, or to a variety of places; ubiquitously.
2. Showing great variety; varied or diverse: “Literary nonfiction is all over the map and has been for three hundred years” (William Zinsser).
put on the map
To make well-known, prominent, or famous.
wipe off the map
To destroy completely; annihilate.
[From Middle English mapemounde, from Old French mapemond, from Medieval Latin mappa (mundī), map (of the world), from Latin, napkin, cloth (on which maps were drawn), perhaps of Punic origin; see npy in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.