\ˈkärst \

Definition of karst 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an irregular limestone region with sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns


geographical name
\ˈkärst \
variants: or Kras \ ˈkräs \ or Italian Carso \ ˈkär-​(ˌ)sō \

Definition of Karst (Entry 2 of 2)

limestone plateau northeast of the Istrian Peninsula in western Slovenia extending into eastern Italy

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Other Words from karst


karstic \ ˈkär-​stik \ adjective

Examples of karst in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The normally moist soil of Florida has a stabilizing effect on karst. Chris Bodenner, Smithsonian, "The Science Behind Florida’s Sinkhole Epidemic," 30 Mar. 2011 Housed in a pastel-yellow colonial building opposite a 16th-century church, its entrance is flanked by tall vases, depicting sampan gliding between karst hills. The Economist, "The long arm of the dollar," 19 May 2018 The retention ponds built on those courses can leak into the karst and trigger sinkholes. Chris Bodenner, Smithsonian, "The Science Behind Florida’s Sinkhole Epidemic," 30 Mar. 2011 For long stretches, hikers plod across karst limestone slabs jutting out at tenuous angles. Alex Crevar, WSJ, "Hiking in Croatia: How to Master Some of the World’s Rarest Views," 24 Apr. 2018 Many of the world's clothes hangers originate in two-story warehouses on the road to Lipu, a steamy town in southern China where the river flows between towering karst formations and vendors sell the sweetest taro. Jessica Meyers, latimes.com, "A victim of its own industrial success, China's hanger capital is now just hanging on," 23 Apr. 2018 These other users included Nonn, who decided to pursue a PhD in environmental science with a focus on the biology of rare endemic geckos living at limestone karsts. Tibor Krausz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why this Thai businessman was named a ‘biodiversity hero’," 4 Apr. 2018 Foliage clings, improbably, to dramatic karst formations that rise out of the sea like shards of green glass on Misool’s edge. Mark Johanson, chicagotribune.com, "Paradise takes many forms on this Indonesian archipelago," 23 Mar. 2018 Initial examination of the karst feature in early February showed that the limestone bed that forms the cave ceiling was scored and thinner where the utility lines were installed. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "More details released about the prehistoric cave uncovered in the middle of a Texas neighborhood," 28 Feb. 2018

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


1902, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for karst


German, from Slovene dialect or Croatian dialect kras, kars, type of rock, region composed of such rock

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Time Traveler for karst

The first known use of karst was in 1902

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something that serves to warn or remind

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