avalanche

noun
av·​a·​lanche | \ˈa-və-ˌlanch \

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

North of Lima, the people of Huaraz live in fear that the glacier above them will soon give way, releasing an avalanche into Lake Palcacocha and sending a torrent of mud and water that would wipe out anything in its path. Austin Merrill, WSJ, "The Amazon: The Heart of the World," 3 Dec. 2018 In 2003, Guy Edwards and John Millar, two top-tier Canadian climbers, had disappeared on that face during a week of bad weather and frequent avalanches. Matt Skenazy, Outside Online, "The Last Days of Marc-André Leclerc," 19 June 2018 The next year, an earthquake triggered another avalanche that ripped through Base Camp, killing 19 people. Washington Post, "Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip," 20 May 2018 The next year, an earthquake triggered another avalanche that ripped through Base Camp, killing 19 people. Binaj Gurubacharya, Fox News, "Sherpa guide tries to reach top of the world for 22nd time," 11 Apr. 2018 Another avalanche reportedly caused a road closure along State Route 20. Peter Martinez, CBS News, "1 killed, others injured in Washington avalanche, officials say," 25 Feb. 2018 The previous year, an avalanche above Everest’s base camp killed 16 Nepalese Sherpa guides. Binaj Gurubacharya, The Seattle Times, "Deaths spark calls in Nepal for better warning systems," 16 Oct. 2018 Banawol's body was among more than a dozen dug up by rescuers from the avalanche of mud and earth in Itogon in Benguet province. Aaron Favila And Joeal Calupitan, Fox News, "Philippine landslide shows poor often live in danger's path," 19 Sep. 2018 That goal was the first of an avalanche that buried Orlando City. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City falls 5-2 at Vancouver, extends MLS losing streak," 9 June 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.

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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

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

Verb

see avalanche entry 1

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Statistics for avalanche

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for avalanche

The first known use of avalanche was in 1744

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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 \

Kids Definition of avalanche

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

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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

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