• synonyms


[ih-skahrp-muh nt]
See more synonyms for escarpment on Thesaurus.com
  1. Geology. a long, precipitous, clifflike ridge of land, rock, or the like, commonly formed by faulting or fracturing of the earth's crust.Compare scarp(def 1).
  2. ground cut into an escarp around a fortification or defensive position.
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Origin of escarpment

From the French word escarpement, dating back to 1795–1805. See escarp, -ment
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for escarpment

Historical Examples

  • At length they crossed the escarpment of the hill, and stood upon the summit.

    The Young Voyageurs

    Mayne Reid

  • Silently he went on climbing the escarpment, digging into the rough rock.

    The Judas Valley

    Gerald Vance

  • Probably the escarpment that extends from Austin to Eagle Pass.

  • The Dunkirk shale loams are found upon the hill or escarpment.

  • The Downs escarpment was set with gigantic slow-moving wind-wheels.

    When the Sleeper Wakes

    Herbert George Wells

British Dictionary definitions for escarpment


    1. the long continuous steep face of a ridge or plateau formed by erosion; scarp
    2. any steep slope, such as one resulting from faulting
  1. a steep artificial slope immediately in front of the rampart of a fortified place
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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 escarpment


1802, from French escarpment, from escarper "make into a steep slope," from escarpe "slope," from Italian scarpa (see scarp). Earlier in same sense was escarp.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

escarpment in Science


  1. A steep slope or long cliff formed by erosion or by vertical movement of the Earth's crust along a fault. Escarpments separate two relatively level areas of land. The term is often used interchangeably with scarp but is more accurately associated with cliffs produced by erosional processes rather than those produced by faulting.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.