gla·​cier ˈglā-shər How to pronounce glacier (audio)
-zhər How to pronounce glacier (audio)
 especially British  ˈgla-sē-ə,
 or  ˈglā-sē-ə
: a large body of ice moving slowly down a slope or valley or spreading outward on a land surface

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The meltwater fills the depression left behind by the glacier, forming what’s known as a glacial lake. Rachel Ramirez, CNN, 7 Feb. 2023 The boulder was deposited there, of course, by a glacier. Ben Mcgrath, The New Yorker, 28 Nov. 2022 The gully served as a kind of time capsule, protecting the remains from damage by the glacier. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 15 Nov. 2022 However, Post tells PEOPLE the cameras weren't found until a second trip out to the glacier this August. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 28 Oct. 2022 Officials closed all access routes and chair lifts to the glacier for hikers, fearing continued instability and the potential that more chunks of ice might detach. CBS News, 5 July 2022 But all signs point to the glacier not surviving long. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 17 Dec. 2021 Deep in the cavern’s belly lies one of the largest underground lakes in the world not formed by a glacier. Alex Orlando, Discover Magazine, 3 Feb. 2020 Through the rapid melting of the crevasses, deterioration of the glacier has actually been able to occur under milder conditions than predicted. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Feb. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glacier.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


French, from Middle French dialect (Franco-Provençal), from glace ice, from Latin glacies; akin to Latin gelu frost — more at cold

First Known Use

1744, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of glacier was in 1744

Dictionary Entries Near glacier

Cite this Entry

“Glacier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


gla·​cier ˈglā-shər How to pronounce glacier (audio)
: a large body of ice moving slowly down a slope or valley or spreading outward on a land surface

More from Merriam-Webster on glacier

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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