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 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 Scoured escarpments, jostled boulders and piles of twisted plants torn from the roots and smashed into heaps at the base of resilient ironwoods are evidence of the environment-shaping power of running water. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Every great thing about the Sonoran Desert is on display in this easy hike," 15 Jan. 2020 Even in the dead of winter, the property is stunning, with its undulating textures of ridges, glades and limestone escarpments. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Science Says Life is Better in Intentional Communities," 28 Jan. 2020 The road heaved, and the bus emerged from a gap in an escarpment into a parched emptiness of plain that stretched to the end of vision. Michael Powell, New York Times, "A Season on the Rez," 6 Dec. 2019 The great rock escarpments have been shaped by eons of wind into phantasmagorical shapes. Andrew Solomon, Condé Nast Traveler, "Traveling Through Jordan’s Historic Ruins, Red Dunes, and Dead Sea," 24 July 2019 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

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

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Escarpment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 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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