gla·​cier | \ ˈglā-shər How to pronounce glacier (audio) also -zhər How to pronounce glacier (audio) , especially British ˈgla-sē-ə or ˈglā-sē-ə \

Definition of glacier

: a large body of ice moving slowly down a slope or valley or spreading outward on a land surface

Examples of glacier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Geologists say a mile-high glacier created this impressive cut., 23 Apr. 2021 Teams will run up a steep glacier to get pickaxes, run back down and use the pickaxes to break open a block of ice to free a capsule. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 22 Apr. 2021 In one of the book's passages Saint-Exupéry tells the story of his close Aéropostale companion Henri Guillaumet, who, after crashing his plane on an Andean glacier spent several days on an epic trek through snow and ice. Miquel Ros, CNN, 14 Apr. 2021 There was no communication between the teams in the two separate base camps, so the Poles immediately dispatched one of their teammates, who took off running to the other camp, which was five miles down-glacier. Mark Synnott, Wired, 13 Apr. 2021 This glacier drains an area the size of Florida or Britain and is the focus of intense study by U.S. and U.K. scientists. Andrea Dutton, The Conversation, 17 May 2021 On cruise ships en route to Juneau, a popular side trip visits Tracy Arm, a narrow, mile-high gorge that ends at a tidewater glacier. David Swanson, Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2021 Researchers had long known about the site but were unable to conduct excavations because a glacier had sealed it off. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 May 2021 In particular, learning that some of the lakes in Glacier National Park were a tropical blue because of glacier melt accelerated by climate change fascinated her to the point of writing about it for her college application essay. Tracey Welson-rossman, Forbes, 6 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glacier.' 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 glacier

1744, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for glacier

French, from Middle French dialect (Franco-Provençal), from glace ice, from Latin glacies; akin to Latin gelu frost — more at cold

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Time Traveler for glacier

Time Traveler

The first known use of glacier was in 1744

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Statistics for glacier

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Glacier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for glacier



English Language Learners Definition of glacier

: a very large area of ice that moves slowly down a slope or valley or over a wide area of land


gla·​cier | \ ˈglā-shər How to pronounce glacier (audio) \

Kids Definition of glacier

: a large body of ice moving slowly down a slope or over a wide area of land

More from Merriam-Webster on glacier

Nglish: Translation of glacier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of glacier for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about glacier


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