avalanche

noun
av·​a·​lanche | \ ˈa-və-ˌlanch How to pronounce avalanche (audio) \

Definition of avalanche

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a large mass of snow, ice, earth, rock, or other material in swift motion down a mountainside or over a precipice
2 : a sudden great or overwhelming rush or accumulation of something hit by an avalanche of paperwork
3 physics : a cumulative process in which photons or accelerated charge carriers produce additional photons or charge carriers through collisions (as with gas molecules)

avalanche

verb
avalanched; avalanching

Definition of avalanche (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to descend in an avalanche Snow avalanched down the mountain.

transitive verb

: overwhelm, flood The office was avalanched with applications.

Examples of avalanche in a Sentence

Noun

He was buried by an avalanche.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Typhoon Mangkhut, the most powerful storm to hit the Philippines this year, left at least 74 people dead and dozens of others missing, mostly in the avalanche in the gold-mining town of Itogon in Benguet province. Aaron Favila And Joeal Calupitan, Fox News, "Philippine policeman: Villagers refused advice to flee storm," 18 Sep. 2018 But his sophomore breakout has been buried under an avalanche of Clemens home runs and heroics. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Hamilton’s speed could be a boon for Longhorns at CWS," 15 June 2018 But their joyous life together came to an end in February 2012, when Prince Friso, an accomplished skier, was buried under an avalanche in the Austrian Alps. Darren Walker, Town & Country, "Princess Mabel of the Netherlands Has Devoted Herself to Ending the Scourge of Child Marriage," 17 Jan. 2017 Rio, like other cities in the global south, has experienced a range of recent extreme weather events, including avalanches due to sudden violent rains and a continuing drought that is stressing water supplies across Brazil. Mark Schapiro, Newsweek, "COP21: Cities Move to Climate Talks' Center Stage," 15 Nov. 2015 So, uh, about that avalanche of BLOCKED BY JAMES Tweets. Scott Patsko, cleveland.com, "Cavaliers vs. Pacers: Winners and losers from Game 5," 26 Apr. 2018 Sofia Barozzi of Il Profumo dei Fiori created the floral arrangements, which included three types of roses (English, spray, and avalanche), hydrangea, dahlias, clematis, magnolia, white protea, and ferns. Brooke Porter Katz, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Couple Took Over a Small Town in Italy for Their Medieval-Inspired Wedding," 28 Feb. 2019 The clip of Sandemann's smug smirk went viral, where it was met with immediate outrage on Twitter and an avalanche of negative media coverage. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "Behind the PR Machine That Helped Change the Nick Sandmann Narrative," 25 Jan. 2019 Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell hastily arranged the vote as lawmakers unleashed an avalanche of resolutions and other proposed actions expressing alarm over Trump's meeting with Putin and the White House's shifting response. Fox News, "Trump-Putin II: Planning fall event in aftermath of Helsinki," 20 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Just look at any photo of Gritty: his lidless, spinning eyes; his inert tongue; his unshaven beard which avalanches over his collarbone, like a Portland bartender’s. Jason Gay, WSJ, "The Fuzzy Terror of Sports Mascots," 27 Sep. 2018 Conspiracy mogul Alex Jones’s gruff voice avalanched out of the speakers and declared war on globalists and labeled Hillary Clinton a criminal who needed to be locked away. Longreads, "The RNC, Revisited," 31 Oct. 2017 Licht got avalanched for dealing third-round and fourth-round picks in 2016 to move into the second round to draft a kicker. Peter King, SI.com, "Monday Morning QB: Bucs GM Jason Licht ‘Owning Up’ to Roberto Aguayo Mistake," 14 Aug. 2017 After being fourth in team defense in 2014 under Jim Schwartz, Rex Ryan’s unit got avalanched the past two seasons, finishing 19th twice with uglier analytics measurables than that. Peter King, The MMQB, "Peter King: The NFL's strongest division is...," 22 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'avalanche.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of avalanche

Noun

1744, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1826, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for avalanche

Noun and Verb

French, from French dialect (Franco-Provençal) lavantse, avalantse

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about avalanche

Statistics for avalanche

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for avalanche

The first known use of avalanche was in 1744

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for avalanche

avalanche

noun

English Language Learners Definition of avalanche

: a large amount of snow and ice or of dirt and rocks that slides suddenly down the side of a mountain
: a sudden great amount of something

avalanche

noun
av·​a·​lanche | \ ˈa-və-ˌlanch How to pronounce avalanche (audio) \

Kids Definition of avalanche

: a large mass of snow and ice or of earth or rock sliding down a mountainside or over a cliff

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on avalanche

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with avalanche

Spanish Central: Translation of avalanche

Nglish: Translation of avalanche for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avalanche for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about avalanche

Comments on avalanche

What made you want to look up avalanche? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!