[ al-pahyn, -pin ]
/ ˈæl paɪn, -pɪn /
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See synonyms for: alpine / alpines on Thesaurus.com

Alpine, Anthropology. (no longer in technical use) a member of a Caucasoid people found in central Europe and characterized by heavy body build, medium complexion, and straight to wavy hair.
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Origin of alpine

First recorded in 1600–10; from Latin Alpīnus, equivalent to Alp(ēs) (plural) “the Alps” + -īnus adjective suffix; see -ine1


al·pine·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is Alpine skiing?

Alpine is a classification in the sport of skiing that specifically refers to forms of what’s sometimes also called downhill skiing—events that take place on a downhill course with the objective of crossing the finish line in the shortest possible amount of time.

The terms Alpine and Alpine skiing are used in contrast with Nordic and Nordic skiing, which includes cross-country skiing and ski jumping. Both alpine and nordic are sometimes left uncapitalized.

Alpine events include the slalom, the giant slalom, the super giant slalom (popularly called Super G)—all of which involve a course marked by poles or gates—as well as the event straightforwardly known as downhill, which takes place on a relatively straight downhill course (without gates).

All of these are events in the Winter Olympics, grouped under the category officially called Alpine Skiing. There are also Alpine skiing events in the Paralympic Winter Games.

The skis used in Alpine skiing differ from those used in Nordic skiing in shape, size, and structure.

Example: Of all the Alpine events at the Winter Olympics, my favorite is giant slalom.

Where does Alpine skiing come from?

In general, the word Alpine is used in relation to things involving the European mountains known as the Alps, a popular location for skiing and other winter sports. The first records of the word Alpine in reference to skiing come from the early 1900s.

It was around that time that Alpine skiing began to be developed as a sport, gaining popularity in the 1920s. Before this time, most ski-based sporting events were of the Nordic variety.

Alpine skiing was introduced to the Winter Games in 1936 and has been featured at every Winter Olympics since, with various Alpine events like giant slalom and super giant slalom being added over the years.

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What are some synonyms for Alpine skiing?

What are some words that share a root or word element with Alpine skiing

What are some words that often get used in discussing Alpine skiing?

How is Alpine used in the context of skiing?

Alpine skiing is the official name of the category of events in the Winter Olympics. It is sometimes casually called downhill skiing. The term Alpine is used in contrast with Nordic, which refers to other kinds of skiing, like cross-country skiing and ski jumping.


Try using Alpine!

Which of the following skiing events is NOT classified as an Alpine event?

A. Ski Jump
B. Downhill
C. Slalom
D. Giant Slalom

How to use alpine in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for alpine (1 of 2)

/ (ˈælpaɪn) /

of or relating to high mountains
(of plants) growing on mountains, esp above the limit for tree growth
connected with or used in mountaineering in medium-sized glaciated mountain areas such as the Alps
skiing of or relating to racing events on steep prepared slopes, such as the slalom and downhillCompare nordic
a plant that is native or suited to alpine conditions

British Dictionary definitions for alpine (2 of 2)

/ (ˈælpaɪn) /

of or relating to the Alps or their inhabitants
  1. of or relating to an episode of mountain building in the Tertiary period during which the Alps were formed
  2. of or relating to a high mountainous environment heavily modified by glacial erosion
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

Scientific definitions for alpine

[ ălpīn′ ]

Resembling or characteristic of the European Alps or any other high mountain system, especially one that has been shaped by intense glacial erosion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.