grau·​pel | \ ˈgrau̇-pəl How to pronounce graupel (audio) \

Definition of graupel

: granular snow pellets

called also soft hail

Did you know?

The word graupel is Germanic in origin; it is the diminutive of Graupe, meaning "pearl barley." According to etymologists, there does seem to be a grain of truth in the assumption that the word grew from the Slavic word krupa, which has the same meaning. Graupel was first seen in an 1889 weather report and has been whirling around in the meteorology field ever since to describe "pellets of snow" or "soft hail" (the latter phrase is an actual synonym of graupel).

Examples of graupel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Portland should just see cold rain, but stronger showers could bring hail or graupel. oregonlive, 7 Dec. 2021 This morning’s cold front passage offered a few quick showers, some of which were mixed with graupel. Washington Post, 26 Nov. 2021 As the cold air sticks around throughout the morning, there is also a slight possibility of graupel, or a few snowflakes falling as low as sea level. oregonlive, 15 Mar. 2021 Thunderstorms with a considerable amount of graupel are moving north through the Loveland and Fort Collins areas. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, 9 Oct. 2019 Been a while since this warm in early May Before the warmth really settles in, be prepared for a chilly and rainy Monday that could even see graupel in some areas. David Epstein,, 30 Apr. 2018 Stellar fit and weather protection make these our four favorite top layers Whether it’s sleet, graupel, drizzle, or downpour, soggy comes in many flavors. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, 12 Apr. 2018 What starts in the clouds as snow can fall as sleet, rain, freezing rain, or even graupel (snowflakes pocked with rime ice). Geoff Fox, Slate Magazine, 3 Jan. 2018 Tiny pellets of ice, called graupel, may shower down during intense burst of snow, but a few hailstones of pea or even dime size could occur in the most intense thundersnow. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, 7 Mar. 2018

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

1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for graupel


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The first known use of graupel was in 1889

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Dictionary Entries Near graupel



Grau San Martín

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Last Updated

20 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Graupel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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