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

Synonyms for escarpment


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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 Simone’s childhood home, located in Tryon, N.C., a small town of 1,600 nestled at the base of the southern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, was at risk of succumbing to age and neglect. New York Times, 16 Mar. 2022 The main wreckage was found perched on a 2,500-foot escarpment within a mile of the western park entrance. Charlie Zaharoff, Outside Online, 8 Oct. 2014 As much as a foot of snow could fall near the edge of the Blue Ridge escarpment in Greenville and as much as 20 inches of snow could accumulate above 4,000 feet of elevation in that area. Alanne Orjoux, CNN, 16 Jan. 2022 Swifts dipped and dove overhead as the setting sun silhouetted an escarpment on the other side of the river. Washington Post, 4 Feb. 2022 What remains are mostly tiny and tricky lots like 1490, which faces onto a subway viaduct and is partly taken up by a rock escarpment. New York Times, 4 Feb. 2022 Below him, the river drops ferociously over a roughly 30-mile stretch before abruptly reaching the unrunnable 140-foot Murchison Falls itself, at the edge of the Rift Valley escarpment. Grayson Schaffer, Outside Online, 7 Feb. 2011 Eagle-eyed excavators spotted a couple of leg bones sticking out of the edge of an escarpment; a prior excavation had chopped the skeleton off at the feet. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 2 Dec. 2021 The fragile escarpment threatened to make a ruin of the ruins. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of escarpment was circa 1802

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Escarpment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on escarpment

Nglish: Translation of escarpment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of escarpment for Arabic Speakers


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