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firn

[feern]
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noun
  1. névé.

Origin of firn

1850–55; < German (Swiss), noun use of firn last year's, old; cognate with Old English fyrn former, ancient, Gothic fairneis; akin to Old Norse forn ancient. See before
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for firn

Historical Examples

  • Firn, firn, or fern, n. snow on high glaciers while still granular—the French nv.

    Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 2 of 4: E-M)

    Various


British Dictionary definitions for firn

firn

noun
  1. another name for névé (def. 1)

Word Origin

C19: from German (Swiss dialect) firn of the previous year, from Old High German firni old
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

Word Origin and History for firn

n.

"consolidated snow, the raw material of glaciers," 1853, literally "last year's snow, névé," from German Firn, from Swiss dialectal firn "of last year," from Middle High German virne "old," from Old High German firni, related to Old English fyrn "old," Gothic fairns "of last year," from Proto-Germanic *fur-/*for- (see first). The only English relic of a useful word meaning "of last year" that was widespread in Indo-European languages, cf. Lithuanian pernai "last year," Greek perysi "a year ago, last year," Sanskrit parut "of last year."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

firn in Science

firn

[fîrn]
  1. Granular, partially consolidated snow that has passed through one summer melt season but is not yet glacial ice. Firn becomes glacial ice once it has become impermeable to liquid water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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