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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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 Others fear that, along with Oak Flat, the nearby escarpment known as Apache Leap would also be destabilized and potentially collapse, perhaps onto the nearby town of Superior. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, "Did feds fast-track Resolution Copper mine project in Trump's last days? Foes say 'yes'," 12 Dec. 2020 Home to almost three million people, Salvador lies near the southern tip of a peninsula that divides the immense Bahia de Todos Santos (Bay of All Saints) from the bright blue waters of the Atlantic, and climbs up a tall escarpment. Saki Knafo, Condé Nast Traveler, "Exploring Bahia's Afro-Brazilian Roots," 22 Sep. 2020 The rocks there belong to the Kem Kem formation, a 150-mile-long escarpment containing rocks formed in an ancient river system that flowed 95 million to 100 million years ago. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Case for 'river monster' Spinosaurus strengthened by new fossil teeth," 28 Apr. 2020 There’s a hiking path connecting the escarpment, which draws lots of tourists for the view, to the lake below, which tends to be less crowded. Star Tribune Staff, Star Tribune, "3 mini-vacations in the Midwest that offer spectacular scenery and won't break the bank," 16 Sep. 2020 The precarious escarpment is located in the Barry Arm fjord, 60 miles east of Anchorage and 30 miles from Whittier, where the icy tongue of Barry Glacier touches brine. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Potential Landslide Could Trigger Destructive Tsunami in Alaska, Scientists Warn," 20 May 2020 The Church of The Red Monastery (Dayr Anba Bishay) stands at the edge of a desert escarpment overlooking the Nile floodplain in Upper Egypt, about 300 miles south of Cairo. Elizabeth S. Bolman, WSJ, "Finding the Glory Beneath the Grime," 5 June 2020 The area dubbed the Kem Kem Group consists of layers of sedimentary rock exposed on a long, winding escarpment near the border between Morocco and Algeria. Popular Science, "The Sahara Desert was once flooded with history’s most vicious dinosaurs," 30 Apr. 2020 The morning shadows revealed a new problem: Between us and our lonesomest goal stood not one but two intimidating escarpments, one of which resembled a beige Transamerica Building on its side. John Phillips, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1995 Land Rover Defender 90 Goes Nowhere, Man," 24 Mar. 2020

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

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The first known use of escarpment was circa 1802

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Cite this Entry

“Escarpment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of escarpment

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

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