frost heave


Definition of frost heave

: an upthrust of ground or pavement caused by freezing of moist soil

called also frost heaving

Examples of frost heave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One big project — addressing what appear as fierce frost heaves on Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway, one of the main roads through town — is still short on answers. Lisa Demer, Anchorage Daily News, "‘The permafrost is dying’: Bethel sees increased shifting of roads and buildings," 7 July 2017 In the Northeast, earth resettles after freezing and thawing, a phenomenon known as frost heave. Nathaniel Penn, Popular Mechanics, "The Day the Town Blew Up," 3 June 2019 There are crews on both sides of the border continuously filling in potholes and regrading stretches of road damaged by frost heaves. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s what to expect on the road to Haines, by the numbers," 19 May 2018 As Kooser reports, frost heave is capable of moving even roads and buildings. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "Striking Mars Image Shows Strange Boulder Piles and Undulating Sand Dunes," 9 Mar. 2018 The agency is also trying to understand what's causing fierce frost heaving on the Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway in Bethel in Southwest. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Pricey projects loom for Alaska as erosion threatens runways, roads and more," 9 Mar. 2018 Of 141 sites along the road already analyzed, 24 percent are considered to be in poor condition, at risk for landslides or debris flow problems, rock falls, frost heaves or severe erosion, the plan says. Yereth Rosen, Alaska Dispatch News, "Landslides, floods, smoke: Prepare for climate change effects in Denali National Park," 1 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frost heave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of frost heave

1853, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about frost heave

Time Traveler for frost heave

Time Traveler

The first known use of frost heave was in 1853

See more words from the same year

Statistics for frost heave

Cite this Entry

“Frost heave.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

Comments on frost heave

What made you want to look up frost heave? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!