gla·​cier | \ ˈglā-shər 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

Endless, seemingly undifferentiated ice, a cap of glaciers covering the entire island. Colin Dickey, The New Republic, "The Secrets in Greenland’s Ice," 11 July 2019 Extrapolating that rate to the rest of the Himalayan glaciers would mean that about 4 billion tons of ice disappeared in 1975-2000. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Declassified satellite images show how Himalayan glaciers have shrunk," 19 June 2019 His project uses aerial sensors to probe beneath the surface of vast glaciers. Daniela Hernandez, WSJ, "Himalaya Glaciers Shrinking at Faster Rate, Study Finds," 19 June 2019 The retreat of glaciers is one of the most glaring consequences of rising global temperatures. Somini Sengupta, New York Times, "Rising Temperatures Ravage the Himalayas, Rapidly Shrinking Its Glaciers," 19 June 2019 In February 2017, a piece of the glacier approximately 1 mile wide separated. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Antarctica's big secret: Active volcanic heat found under Pine Island Glacier," 27 June 2018 As Beijing increases its military presence in the area, Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers earlier this month patrolled a snowy glacier above 17,000 feet along the Chinese side of the 56-mile border between China and Afghanistan. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Russia, China Vie for Influence in Central Asia as U.S. Plans Afghan Exit," 18 June 2019 The 20-day excursion took place during South America’s summer season and the family covered plenty of ground, including windy Torres del Paine, the glaciers in El Calafate and El Chaltén, and Tierra del Fuego. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "A Jewelry Designer’s Family Trip to the “End of the Earth” in Patagonia," 13 May 2019 Trek across a glacier with an expert guide to learn about climate science and glacial recession. National Geographic, "Iceland Middle School Expedition," 12 June 2019

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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Statistics for glacier

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for glacier

The first known use of glacier was in 1744

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on glacier

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glacier

Spanish Central: Translation of glacier

Nglish: Translation of glacier for Spanish Speakers

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

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