nieve penitente

noun nie·ve pen·i·ten·te \nēˈāvāˌpenəˈtentā, ˈnyāv-\

Definition of nieve penitente


nieves penitentes

  1. :  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

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of nieve penitente

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

Seen and Heard

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


to help become familiar with something

Get Word of the Day daily email!