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Beyond the city to the north, a mountain emerged slowly into the dawn. Its base was blue and featureless, a shape without dimension against the brightening sky. But on the distant summit, the snow and ice glowed golden pink in anticipation of sunrise.

it's a quote from a novel and as far as I know dimension is a particular aspect of something or a property of space.. then what's without dimension here? I really cannot understand this sentence.

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    I think it means immeasurable, ie, big. Trying to find a different interpretation, it might also mean that it looked not only flat (2D), but that the edges of the shape weren't visible, the featureless flat color filling the whole view, occluding the sky's horizon. – Hector von Mar 25 '17 at 13:30
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    Additional thought--beyond simply referring to "big", it could refer to the fact that being immense and far in the distance, there was nothing to compare it against to get a true sense of its actual size. – fixer1234 Mar 25 '17 at 20:16
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I agree with hector, dimension-less should mean "big" ; in the sentence here,I think the author is trying to place emphasis on the fact that the mountain was enormous. The enormity was such that it was impossible to make out the sides of it, it seemed to 'fill' the entire view of the author.

My description might not be perfect but I do hope you get my point! :)

  • thank you so much:) But can I ask you one more? what's the meaning of that whole sentence, including 'against the brightening sky'? does that mean the mountain is very big so it's comparable to the vast sky?? and then again, how can it be 'featureless' mountain, though it's that enormous? – dbwlsld Mar 26 '17 at 6:06
  • featureless doesn't necessarily have to do anything with vastness, does it? imagine a bright noon sky, now imagine yourself standing in front of a mountain the size of which is unfathomable.. you get the idea the author tries to portray. As a light note :P google up an image of Mt. Fuji and you'll instantly get the idea (tbh, that was exactly what came to my mind when i saw the description of the mountain!) – Sakazuki Akainu Mar 26 '17 at 7:43
  • thanks! I looked up the dictionary and the meaning of 'featureless' was 'it has no interesting features or characteristics', but I thought the 'vastness' could definitely be one of the great features of the mountain...but thanks so much anyway now I got it! And sorry for asking again, but then is it correct to understand the meaning of 'against the sky' as 'the mountain is big enough to be compared to the sky'? or does that mean just.. the mountain which is 'under' the sky? – dbwlsld Mar 26 '17 at 12:28
  • i'd say that consider the backdrop of the stage as the sky in front of which the main 'actor'-the mountain here, is being described! – Sakazuki Akainu Mar 26 '17 at 13:59
  • although the way i describe things are pretty crude and informal, in my opinion paragraphs can be best understood if you look into them with a child's eye :) – Sakazuki Akainu Mar 26 '17 at 14:00
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To me, this seems unrelated to size. If anything, if we assume size is being discussed, lacking dimension more closely implies a very small size, rather than a large one.

Instead, I believe this is an expansion on the concept of "featureless".

Visualize the base of a mountain at a distance, perhaps through a haze. It has no discernible topology, no well-defined angles—it's a bit of a blur, featureless, and it lacks...

dimension

c. a lifelike or realistic quality

– https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dimension

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