[ gley-shuhl ]
/ ˈgleɪ ʃəl /


Origin of glacial

1650–60; < Latin glaciālis icy, equivalent to glaci(ēs) ice + -ālis -al1
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for glacial

British Dictionary definitions for glacial


/ (ˈɡleɪsɪəl, -ʃəl) /


characterized by the presence of masses of ice
relating to, caused by, or deposited by a glacier
extremely cold; icy
cold or hostile in mannera glacial look
(of a chemical compound) of or tending to form crystals that resemble iceglacial acetic acid
very slow in progressa glacial pace
Derived Formsglacially, adverb
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 glacial



1650s, "cold, icy," from French glacial, from Latin glacialis "icy, frozen, full of ice," from glacies "ice," probably from PIE root *gel- "cold" (cf. Latin gelu "frost;" see cold (adj.)). Geological sense apparently coined in 1846 by British naturalist Edward Forbes (1815-1854). Related: Glacially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for glacial


[ glāshəl ]

Relating to or derived from a glacier.
Characterized or dominated by the existence of glaciers, as the Pleistocene Epoch.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.