nieve penitente

noun

nie·​ve pen·​i·​ten·​te
nēˈāvāˌpenəˈtentā,
ˈnyāv-
plural nieves penitentes
-vās … tās
: a jagged sometimes curved pinnacle of ice or névé produced by uneven melting of a snowbank or of the surface of a glacier
also : an assemblage of such pinnacles compare serac

Word History

Etymology

Spanish, literally, penitent snow; from the illusion of kneeling human figures

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Cite this Entry

“Nieve penitente.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nieve%20penitente. Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

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