or fiord

[fyawrd, fyohrd; Norwegian fyohr, fyoor]


a long, narrow arm of the sea bordered by steep cliffs: usually formed by glacial erosion.
(in Scandinavia) a bay.

Origin of fjord

From Norwegian; see origin at firth
Related formsfjord·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for fjord

inlet, arm, ria

Examples from the Web for fjord

Contemporary Examples of fjord

Historical Examples of fjord

  • This fjord has its outlet in Barkley Sound on the west side of the island.

  • But on a calm spring day, the fjord just steals in smooth and shining by ness and bay.

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

  • A sail on this fjord will bring us to Mariager, the smallest town in Denmark.


    M. Pearson Thomson

  • Between the trees are seen the fjord, high mountain ranges and peaks.

  • They have the fjord so near them, where the shoals of wild fishes pass in and out.

British Dictionary definitions for fjord




(esp on the coast of Norway) a long narrow inlet of the sea between high steep cliffs formed by glacial action

Word Origin for fjord

C17: from Norwegian, from Old Norse fjörthr; see firth, ford
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 fjord

1670s, from Norwegian fiord, from Old Norse fjörðr, from North Germanic *ferthuz, from PIE *prtus, from *per- "going, passage" (see port (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fjord in Science



A long, narrow, deep inlet from the sea between steep slopes of a mountainous coast. Fjords usually occur where ocean water flows into valleys formed near the coast by glaciers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.