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

When the glaciers receded, the lake drained, fairly rapidly, leaving all that material behind as beautiful black soil and raising global sea levels anywhere from two to nine feet in the process. Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, "My time among the beet jockeys of northern Minnesota," 6 Sep. 2019 The phenomenon can be traced back about five million years, when the glacier sealed off a microbe-rich lake beneath it. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Creepy Catacombs, Islands of Dolls, and 18 Other Terrifying Places for Thrill Seekers," 4 Sep. 2019 When Jess and Erdmann went back the next season, the ice had thawed and Kellogg’s body had dropped to the glacier. Nick Heil, Outside Online, "The Tragedy on Howse Peak," 28 Aug. 2019 But as ground zero for activities like heli-skiing, ice climbing, and glacier hiking, Alaska is also attracting adventurers with money to burn exploring the most exciting terrain in the United States. Ashley Mateo, Town & Country, "Explore the Last Frontier of Luxury Travel In the U.S.: Alaska," 23 Aug. 2019 And in 2014, scientists officially declared the glacier dead. Danny Hermosillo, Houston Chronicle, "Rice anthropologists say goodbye to Iceland’s first glacier lost to climate change," 21 Aug. 2019 The glacier used to stretch six square miles, Sigurdsson said. NBC News, "Iceland holds funeral for lost glacier," 19 Aug. 2019 Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurðsson pronounced the Okjokull glacier extinct about a decade ago. Seth Borenstein, USA TODAY, "Iceland activists, officials hold funeral for death of Okjokull glacier," 19 Aug. 2019 The real economic opportunity is that vanishing glaciers are opening up its mineral resources, including rare earths and possibly oil and gas. The Economist, "Greenlanders say Donald Trump should have asked them first," 24 Aug. 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

9 Sep 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

Comments on glacier

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


readily or continually undergoing change

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