\ ˈkärst How to pronounce karst (audio) \

Definition of karst

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


geographical name
\ ˈkärst How to pronounce Karst (audio) \
variants: or Kras \ ˈkräs How to pronounce Kras (audio) \ or Italian Carso \ ˈkär-​(ˌ)sō How to pronounce Carso (audio) \

Definition of Karst (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from karst


karstic \ ˈkär-​stik How to pronounce karstic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of karst in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hike through Italy's spectacular karst landscapes in the Val Rosandra Nature Reserve, enjoying sweeping views of the Adriatic Sea. National Geographic, "Hiking the Alpe-Adria Trail through Austria, Slovenia, and Italy," 12 June 2019 Knauth began exploring desert karsts in the 1980s as a young geology professor building his lab at Arizona State. Peter Byrne, Quanta Magazine, "Early Life in Death Valley," 24 Apr. 2014 Krabi’s beautiful coastline, lapped by impossibly green water studded with limestone karsts, serves as the backdrop for this peaceful property. Alisha Prakash, USA TODAY, "9 remote resorts in Thailand: Luxurious seclusion for when you want to get lost," 20 June 2019 Below ground level, nearly half of Slovenia is composed of porous karst leading to a labyrinth of limestone caves. Alex Crevar, National Geographic, "Here is Europe's most sustainable country in 20 pictures," 4 May 2019 Start the day early on a long-tail boat and savor your breakfast in the center of one of these towering karsts, kayak through mangroves, and hop around to the nearby islets. Christina Liao, Vogue, "Skip Phuket and Koh Samui—Go to This Island in Thailand Instead," 23 May 2019 Around 20% of the United States is underlain by karst landscapes, according to the United States Geologic Survey, with 40% of groundwater used for drinking coming from karst aquifers. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Cassini Found That Titan Has Lakes of Methane Resting on Giant Mesas," 16 Apr. 2019 The caves are more popular with local trekkers and cavers, though they're carved from limestone rock—the stuff that makes Thailand's famed karsts—and face erosion, per a Forbes article on the science of the system. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Thai Cave Story May Be Turned Into Museum, Movies," 12 July 2018 Hundreds of caves are carved out of an otherworldly landscape of undulating mountain ranges and isolated karst towers that feels so prehistoric you half expect pterodactyls to come swooping through. Exploring Tu Lan Cave. Patrick Scott, WSJ, "A Blow-Your-Mind Adventure in Vietnam’s Caves," 13 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about karst

Dictionary Entries near karst








Statistics for karst

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for karst

The first known use of karst was in 1902

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on karst

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about karst

Comments on karst

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


a usually brief trip or an expedition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!