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[sas-truh-guh, sah-struh-, sa-stroo-, sah-] /ˈsæs trə gə, ˈsɑ strə-, sæˈstru-, sɑ-/
noun, plural sastrugi
[sas-truh-gee, sah-struh-, sa-stroo-, sah-] /ˈsæs trə gi, ˈsɑ strə-, sæˈstru-, sɑ-/ (Show IPA)
Usually, sastrugi. ridges of snow formed on a snowfield by the action of the wind.
Also, zastruga.
Origin of sastruga
dialectal Russian
1830-40; < German < dialectal Russian zastrúga, noun derivative of zastrugátʾ, zastrogátʾ to plane, shave down (wood), equivalent to za- perfective v. prefix + strugátʾ, strogátʾ to plane, smooth (wood) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sastrugi
Historical Examples
  • They pointed, like the sastrugi, or snow-waves of the Siberians, to the marchers of the lost company.

  • The surface was also perfectly level; there was not a sign of sastrugi in any direction.

  • Meanwhile the sastrugi grew smaller and smaller, and finally they disappeared altogether, and the surface became quite flat.

  • The light was bad, and steering had to be done by sastrugi and wind.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • That day we encountered new surface conditions -- big, hard snow-waves (sastrugi).

  • The wind was practically along the sastrugi and the course was diagonal to both.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • The surface, too, grew worse; nothing but sastrugi eighteen inches to thirty inches high and very close together.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • They had kept a course roughly by the wind and the direction of sastrugi.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • We are continually falling, for we are unable to distinguish the high and low parts of the sastrugi surface.

    South! Sir Ernest Shackleton
  • What the course was we did not care as we steered by the sastrugi.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
British Dictionary definitions for sastrugi


/səˈstruːɡə; sæ-/
one of a series of ridges on snow-covered plains, caused by the action of wind laden with ice particles
Word Origin
from Russian zastruga groove, from za by + struga deep 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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sastrugi in Science
sastrugi (sā-str'gə, sä'strə-) also zastrugi
  (sā-str'gə, sä'strə-)
Long, wavelike ridges of snow, formed by the wind and found on the polar plains. Sastrugi are usually up to several meters high and are often parallel to the prevailing wind direction.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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