bar·​chan (ˌ)bär-ˈkän How to pronounce barchan (audio)
: a moving crescent-shaped sand dune

Examples of barchan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The dunes in the Western Sahara are called barchan dunes. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 20 Feb. 2014 Stump described the memorial’s future appearance as having two barchan dune forms that would create an oasis in the middle, and a wall color and texture that would evoke the desert where Desert Storm took place. Omari Daniels, Washington Post, 14 July 2022

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

Word History


Russian barkhan, from Kazakh

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of barchan was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near barchan

Cite this Entry

“Barchan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on barchan

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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