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

For an hour, the students came up with an avalanche of suggestions. Editors, USA TODAY, "Dorian's continued havoc, California boat fire, Brexit vote: 5 things to know Tuesday," 3 Sep. 2019 The avalanche of challenges has been visited on a town that already endured a frightening 13,000-acre wildfire last July, spiking anxiety and fears about whether Idyllwild is prepared to face a truly existential threat. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, "Idyllwild prized its isolation. Now, with the roads into town wrecked, it feels all alone," 21 July 2019 No human, or team of humans, could possibly keep up with the avalanche of information produced by many of today’s physics and astronomy experiments. Wired, "AI Algorithms Are Now Shockingly Good at Doing Science," 17 Mar. 2019 No human, or team of humans, could possibly keep up with the avalanche of information produced by many of today’s physics and astronomy experiments. Dan Falk, WIRED, "AI Algorithms Are Now Shockingly Good at Doing Science," 17 Mar. 2019 No human, or team of humans, could possibly keep up with the avalanche of information produced by many of today’s physics and astronomy experiments. Quanta Magazine, "How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Science," 11 Mar. 2019 Instead of waiting to deal with an avalanche of dirty dishes after guests have headed out, load the dishwasher midway through the bash. Vogue, "Kitchen Confidential: 4 Tricks to Make Your Post-Party Cleanup a Breeze," 16 Nov. 2018 The catcher also said that Gibbons would not inundate his players with an avalanche of data or overstrategize. David Waldstein, New York Times, "An Old-School Manager Thrives in a New Baseball Age," 19 Apr. 2018 The couple had been ski-touring in Montana’s Madison Range when Perkins was killed in an avalanche. Nick Heil, Outside Online, "The Tragedy on Howse Peak," 28 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Early pioneers of universality, led by the physicist Leo Kadanoff, discovered that systems as different as avalanching sand piles and magnetizing metals all operate on multiple scales. Quanta Magazine, "Bubble Experiment Finds Universal Laws," 31 July 2019 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 and Verb

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

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Statistics for avalanche

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

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 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

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