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I am looking for a word that would describe the image of a road that vanishes into the distance. I am fairly confident that there is such a single word since I remember a long time ago finding it and using it somewhere to see similar pictures. I still have the pictures, but not the word.

At first I thought the word might be vista, but it doesn't ring any bells... perhaps there is a more specific word for this case.

The beautiful endless road

  • foreshortened? – A E Nov 2 '14 at 19:55
  • Perspective? Vanishing point? – Hot Licks Nov 2 '14 at 23:11
  • Could it be that the word really is vista? Hmmm.. Since no one came up with a satisfactory answer and searching on Google the words "define vista" does bring up "a long, narrow view as between rows of trees or buildings, especially one closed by a building or other structure.", I'm thinking it might be the word. – Renae Lider Nov 3 '14 at 1:20
  • @RenaeLider: Vista is too general. It is not related to roads by its own. – ermanen Nov 3 '14 at 15:33
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I am not sure if there exists a word meaning exactly "a road vanishing in the distance".

Perspective in the context of vision and visual perception, is the way in which objects appear to the eye based on their spatial attributes. In particular, perspective allows for long object to appear to vanish at some point, the vanishing point, which lies on a line called the horizon.

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It isn't a single word but road to horizon is used as a phrase. You can find similar images if you search it on Google Images:

enter image description here

I know that roads are usually depicted as vanishing into the horizon but this phrase is self-explanatory. Similarly, road to nowhere is used as a metaphor also for vast roads that seems endless and vanishes into the horizon. It sounds rather poetic though.

Example usage:

Freshwater Road went somewhere, though when you stood outside, it seemed to be a road without end, or a road to nowhere, just narrowed into its own horizon.

[Freshwater Road By Denise Nicholas (2005)]

Note: Road to nowhere is usually used for a situation or course of action offering no prospects of progress or advancement. [oxforddictionaries]

  • 6
    "Road to nowhere" would usually be used as a metaphor describing a path with no productive outcome. If a person described the OP's image to me as a "road to nowhere" I would be genuinely concerned about their general outlook on life. The idea that these images bring to mind, for me at least, is a long road to somewhere (possibly to an unknown, but existent, place). – Jason C Nov 2 '14 at 20:12
  • @JasonC: I know it is a metaphor describing a path with no productive outcome but it is also used for vast roads vanishing into the horizon. If you search "road to nowhere" on Google images, you can find similar images. Keep your concerns to yourself. A vanishing point connotes nowhere actually instead of somewhere. Of course it goes to somewhere in real, but you can think it as a metaphor also. – ermanen Nov 2 '14 at 20:46
  • You have a lot of 'splainin to do... – anongoodnurse Nov 2 '14 at 22:42
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    Certainly "road to nowhere" carries too strong of a connotation of being a dead-end, non-productive direction that one shouldn't, except ironically, use it to describe a road that simply vanishes in the distance. I'm not surprised that it's often used to title photos of such a road, but those uses are most certainly ironic/playful. – Hot Licks Nov 2 '14 at 23:13
  • @HotLicks: In the end, it is used for this kind of road images. I gave it as an alternative answer and I included supporting sources. I didn't claim that it is widely used. – ermanen Nov 2 '14 at 23:40
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Convergence may be the word you're thinking of.

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I also was looking for this term. In films I am told it is a phantom ride. I know that's not the name of the road, but it's the name of the image. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_ride

  • A phantom ride is evidently a film, or a part of a film, which portrays forward motion by the method of having mounted a camera on a moving vehicle. Yes, if the vehicle happens to be on a road, the film might include images such as the one asked about in the question. But no, it's not the name for such images. – MetaEd Oct 31 '17 at 21:19

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