cryoconite

noun
cry·​oc·​o·​nite | \ krīˈäkəˌnīt \
plural -s

Definition of cryoconite

: dust that is found on the surface of a glacier (such as the Greenland ice cap) especially on the bottom of small depressions and is formed as a result of differential melting of the ice

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of cryoconite

1872, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cryoconite

borrowed from Swedish kryokonit, from Greek krýos “icy cold, frost” + kónis “dust, ashes” + Swedish -it -ite entry 1

Note: Term introduced by the Finland-Swedish geologist and explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901) in “Redogörelse för en expedition till Grönland år 1870” (“Meddelad den 15 December 1870”), Öfversigt af Kongliga Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar, No. 10, 27. årgång (1870), Stockholm, 1871, p. 998. Kryokonite appears in English in Nordenskiöld's translation of his report, in “Account of an expedition to Greenland in the year 1870. Part II,” The Geological Magazine, vol. 9 (1872), p. 356.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About cryoconite

Time Traveler for cryoconite

Time Traveler

The first known use of cryoconite was in 1872

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cryoconite

Cite this Entry

“Cryoconite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cryoconite. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!