gla·​cial | \ ˈglā-shəl How to pronounce glacial (audio) \

Definition of glacial

1 : suggestive of ice: such as
a : extremely cold : frigid a glacial wind
b : devoid of warmth and cordiality a glacial handshake
c : coldly imperturbable maintained a glacial calm
2 : of a purity marked by the tendency to readily solidify in the form of ice-like crystals glacial acetic acid
3a(1) : of, relating to, or being any of those parts of geologic time from Precambrian onward when a much larger portion of the earth was covered by glaciers than at present
(2) capitalized : pleistocene
b : of, relating to, or produced by glaciers
c : suggestive of the very slow movement of glaciers progress on the bill has been glacial

Other Words from glacial

glacially \ ˈglā-​shə-​lē How to pronounce glacial (audio) \ adverb

Examples of glacial in a Sentence

Progress on the bill has been glacial. a glacial weather front coming down from Canada will bring freezing temperatures this weekend
Recent Examples on the Web So far, the heat wave is estimated to have caused at least 90 deaths across India and Pakistan and triggered an extreme glacial lake outburst flood in northern Pakistan and forest fires in India. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 23 May 2022 The unique flavor profiles of wine produced by grapes grown at an elevation of 5,350 feet in soil composed of glacial deposits are not to be missed by wine lovers. The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 May 2022 The focus is on adventure exploration in old-growth forests and glacial outwash fields—guests can kayak or paddleboard beside glaciers or hike and bushwalk in untouched terrain. Judy Koutsky, Forbes, 19 May 2022 Other towns have also struggled to rebuild and recover, hampered by a pandemic; by flooding and storms; and by a glacial approval process from government agencies. New York Times, 16 May 2022 More than 100 rare plants call the park home, more than anywhere in the state, thanks to the diverse landscape. Walk through wetlands and sand dunes left from ancient glacial beaches all in a 1.6-mile walk on the Sand Dunes Trail. Andrea Reeves, The Enquirer, 16 May 2022 In recent years, glacial melting triggered by global warming has revealed artifacts long locked in ice around the world, from wooden tools to mummies to clothing to arrows. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Apr. 2022 At the Forbes Five-Star hideaway, naturalist experiences are available for year-round enjoyment and run the gamut from seal-spotting expeditions to Jeep tours on the beach to learn about Rhode Island's glacial formation. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Travel + Leisure, 7 May 2022 Exploring the blue glacial pools of the Great Gorge, Denali National Park. John Anderson, WSJ, 5 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of glacial

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for glacial

Latin glacialis, from glacies

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Time Traveler for glacial

Time Traveler

The first known use of glacial was in 1656

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Dictionary Entries Near glacial



glacial boulder

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Statistics for glacial

Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Glacial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for glacial


gla·​cial | \ ˈglā-shəl How to pronounce glacial (audio) \

Kids Definition of glacial

1 : of or relating to glaciers glacial ice
2 : very cold
3 : very slow a glacial pace

More from Merriam-Webster on glacial

Nglish: Translation of glacial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of glacial for Arabic Speakers


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