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[ih-skahrp-muh nt] /ɪˈskɑrp mənt/
Geology. a long, precipitous, clifflike ridge of land, rock, or the like, commonly formed by faulting or fracturing of the earth's crust.
Compare scarp (def 1).
ground cut into an escarp around a fortification or defensive position.
Origin of escarpment
From the French word escarpement, dating back to 1795-1805. See escarp, -ment Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for escarpment


  1. the long continuous steep face of a ridge or plateau formed by erosion; scarp
  2. any steep slope, such as one resulting from faulting
a steep artificial slope immediately in front of the rampart of a fortified place
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for escarpment

1802, from French escarpment, from escarper "make into a steep slope," from escarpe "slope," from Italian scarpa (see scarp). Earlier in same sense was escarp.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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escarpment in Science
A steep slope or long cliff formed by erosion or by vertical movement of the Earth's crust along a fault. Escarpments separate two relatively level areas of land. The term is often used interchangeably with scarp but is more accurately associated with cliffs produced by erosional processes rather than those produced by faulting.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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