es·​carp·​ment | \ i-ˈskärp-mənt How to pronounce escarpment (audio) \

Definition of escarpment

1 : a steep slope in front of a fortification
2 : a long cliff or steep slope separating two comparatively level or more gently sloping surfaces and resulting from erosion or faulting

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Examples of escarpment in a Sentence

the castle sits atop an escarpment that for hundreds of years made it virtually invulnerable to attack
Recent Examples on the Web The brilliant red-orange escarpment soars to 2,091 feet — 360 feet above the river. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Don't be put off by the unimpressive beginning. This AZ hike leads to dramatic red rocks," 19 Dec. 2019 Petroglyph National Monument, a National Park Service site, contains more than 25,000 petroglyphs along a 17-mile-long escarpment, one of the largest collections of rock carvings in North America. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "Albuquerque," 11 Dec. 2019 Emerald-green estates stretch as far as the eye can see, hugging the western escarpment of the Rift Valley. The Economist, "A row over who owns Kenya’s land is making life hard for foreign firms," 21 Nov. 2019 The Illawarra escarpment contains Australia’s oldest mines for coking coal used in steelmaking. David Fickling | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Bushfires Illuminate the Price of Burning Coal," 11 Nov. 2019 The apparatus travels up a steep escarpment, connecting Tomé De Souza Square with the waterfront down below. Keith Plocek, New York Times, "9 Cities Where Public Transit Offers Eye-Popping Views," 6 Aug. 2019 Yes, there will be crowds, but this extraordinary escarpment is a must-see. Serena Renner, National Geographic, "Road trip through the Irish countryside’s wild beauty," 12 Mar. 2019 On the jagged cliffs below the Mogollon Rim, dozens of springs dispense water that filters through the porous limestone escarpments. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Forest hike near Payson leads to a shady tangle of springs," 26 July 2019 Here, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Zambezi River plunges off a high escarpment, tumbling some 350 feet into a narrow chasm and creating a mile-wide veil of mist and rushing water shot through with rainbows. National Geographic, "Africa by Private Jet," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'escarpment.' 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 escarpment

circa 1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for escarpment

French escarpement, from escarper to scarp, from Middle French, from escarpe scarp, from Old Italian scarpa — more at scarp

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Time Traveler for escarpment

Time Traveler

The first known use of escarpment was circa 1802

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Statistics for escarpment

Last Updated

28 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Escarpment.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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How to pronounce escarpment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of escarpment

: a long cliff or steep slope that separates two flat or slightly sloped areas

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