1

avalanche

noun av·a·lanche \ ˈa-və-ˌlanch \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of avalanche

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)

Examples of avalanche in a Sentence

  1. He was buried by an avalanche.

Recent Examples of avalanche from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of avalanche

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


2

avalanche

verb

Definition of avalanche

avalanched; avalanching
intransitive verb
: to descend in an avalanche
  • Snow avalanched down the mountain.
transitive verb
: overwhelm, flood
  • The office was avalanched with applications.

Recent Examples of avalanche from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of avalanche


AVALANCHE Defined for English Language Learners

avalanche

noun

Definition of avalanche for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

avalanche

noun av·a·lanche \ ˈa-və-ˌlanch \

Definition of avalanche for Students

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


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