Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[skahrp] /skɑrp/
a line of cliffs formed by the faulting or fracturing of the earth's crust; an escarpment.
Fortification. an escarp.
verb (used with object)
to form or cut into a steep slope.
Origin of scarp
First recorded in 1580-90, scarp is from the Italian word scarpa a slope. See escarp Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for scarp
Historical Examples
  • The first up, on clearing the scarp, have their eyes upon the Dutchman.

  • The scarp is about 40 feet high at the highest point; (Fig. 242).

    Archology and the Bible George A. Barton
  • There were several hits on the scarp, but none of the guns were touched.

  • There were several hits on the scarp, but none of the guns were in any way injured.

  • He was within an ace of capture, and to save himself was forced back from the scarp.

    Prester John John Buchan
  • He stood beneath a scarp of black rock, notched with a single pass.

    Black Amazon of Mars Leigh Brackett
  • He slid down the scarp and went on, heartened by the increase of light.

    The Unknown Sea Clemence Housman
  • A pale, level line of it cut across the scarp of the Big Hill.

    Birthright T.S. Stribling
  • A portion of the scarp was provided with palisades some ten feet high.

  • A fosse, flooded by the waters of the Angara, was dug between the scarp and counterscarp.

    Michael Strogoff Jules Verne
British Dictionary definitions for scarp


a steep slope, esp one formed by erosion or faulting; escarpment See also cuesta
(fortifications) the side of a ditch cut nearest to and immediately below a rampart
(transitive; often passive) to wear or cut so as to form a steep slope
Word Origin
C16: from Italian scarpa
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for scarp

"steep slope," 1580s, from Italian scarpa "slope," probably from a Germanic source, perhaps Gothic skarpo "pointed object," from Proto-Germanic *skarpa- "cutting, sharp" (cf. Middle High German schroffe "sharp rock, crag," Old English scræf "cave, grave"), from PIE *(s)ker- "to cut" (see shear (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
scarp in Science
A continuous line of cliffs produced by vertical movement of the Earth's crust along a fault or by erosion. The term is often used interchangeably with escarpment but is more accurately associated with cliffs produced by faulting rather than those produced by erosional processes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for scarp

Word Value for scarp

Scrabble Words With Friends