- of or relating to glaciers or ice sheets.
- resulting from or associated with the action of ice or glaciers: glacial terrain.
- characterized by the presence of ice in extensive masses or glaciers.
- bitterly cold; icy: a glacial winter wind.
- happening or moving extremely slowly: The work proceeded at a glacial pace.
- icily unsympathetic or immovable: a glacial stare; glacial indifference.
- Chemistry. of, relating to, or tending to develop into icelike crystals: glacial phosphoric acid.
Origin of glacial
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for glacial
Many thousands of years ago, glacial floods swept through the area and carved out the sloping sides of the current grounds.Brooklyn’s Gangster Graveyard
October 23, 2014
“Americans will never drive a small car,” said the man from GM with glacial confidence.Nationalism on Four Wheels
October 18, 2014
Folks are taking cold showers already, and the weather soon will be glacial.In Ukraine, Winter Is Coming
September 23, 2014
For a church that moves at a glacial pace, the murmurings of Bishops like Tobin are lightning fast and boldly subversive.A Coming American Schism Over Pope Francis?
September 20, 2013
The often glacial pace of change can prove particularly frustrating to former clerks who return as justices.Advice for a New Justice
Seth Stern, Stephen Wermiel
October 5, 2010
Perhaps the Glacial period which followed was too cold for them.The Meaning of Evolution
Samuel Christian Schmucker
He rose as Roma entered, and received her with his great but glacial politeness.The Eternal City
"I had no idea you were with Miss Gray, Robin," she heard the lady say in glacial accents.Mary Gray
Even with that, his solitude was glacial, and reacted on his character.
If the glacial period were uniformity, what was catastrophe?
- characterized by the presence of masses of ice
- relating to, caused by, or deposited by a glacier
- extremely cold; icy
- cold or hostile in mannera glacial look
- (of a chemical compound) of or tending to form crystals that resemble iceglacial acetic acid
- very slow in progressa glacial pace
Word Origin and History for glacial
1650s, "cold, icy," from French glacial, from Latin glacialis "icy, frozen, full of ice," from glacies "ice," probably from PIE root *gel- "cold" (cf. Latin gelu "frost;" see cold (adj.)). Geological sense apparently coined in 1846 by British naturalist Edward Forbes (1815-1854). Related: Glacially.
- Relating to or derived from a glacier.
- Characterized or dominated by the existence of glaciers, as the Pleistocene Epoch.