Little Ice Age


: an episode of glacial expansion whose maximum extension occurred in the 17th and 18th centuries

Examples of Little Ice Age in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Since the late 18th century, which saw a period of global cooling and glacial formation known as the Little Ice Age, one quarter of the icefield’s total volume has melted. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 July 2024 Researchers are exploring how this global swap might have influenced the Little Ice Age that ended in the 19th century. Stephen Pyne, Scientific American, 16 Apr. 2024 Willis noted that these two major flood events from ancient times occurred during a period of global cooling known as the Little Ice Age, which spanned roughly the the 14th to 19th centuries. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2024 As the climate shifted from the medieval warm period, which ended in the 13th century, to the colder temperatures of the Little Ice Age, evidence of many smaller whale species disappeared from the archaeological record. Andrew Chapman, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 May 2024 The cities that Native Americans left behind during the Little Ice Age—ruins such as those at Chaco Canyon and Cahokia—led European explorers and modern archaeologists alike to imagine societal collapse and the tragic loss of a golden age. Kathleen Duval, The Atlantic, 2 Apr. 2024 Some scholars have asserted that the Little Ice Age stressed resources on the island between the 16th and 19th centuries, leading to the disappearance of palms and other important contributors to the islanders’ activities and well-being. Daniel Lewis, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Mar. 2024 On the other hand, extended periods of quiet from the Sun might make Earth a less pleasant place to live; the Maunder minimum seems to coincide with the Little Ice Age, but a causal link has yet to be confirmed. Popular Science, 29 Feb. 2024 Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the Little Ice Age The LIA coincided with a period of great religious and political upheaval. Tim Brinkhof, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Little Ice Age.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1939, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Little Ice Age was in 1939

Dictionary Entries Near Little Ice Age

Cite this Entry

“Little Ice Age.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

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