[ gley-shuhl ]
See synonyms for glacial on
  1. of or relating to glaciers or ice sheets.

  2. resulting from or associated with the action of ice or glaciers: glacial terrain.

  1. characterized by the presence of ice in extensive masses or glaciers.

  2. bitterly cold; icy: a glacial winter wind.

  3. happening or moving extremely slowly: The work proceeded at a glacial pace.

  4. icily unsympathetic or immovable: a glacial stare; glacial indifference.

  5. Chemistry. of, relating to, or tending to develop into icelike crystals: glacial phosphoric acid.

Origin of glacial

1650–60; <Latin glaciālis icy, equivalent to glaci(ēs) ice + -ālis-al1

Other words for glacial

Other words from glacial

  • gla·cial·ly, adverb
  • non·gla·cial, adjective
  • non·gla·cial·ly, adverb
  • un·gla·cial, adjective
  • un·gla·cial·ly, adverb

Words Nearby glacial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use glacial in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for glacial


/ (ˈɡleɪsɪəl, -ʃəl) /

  1. characterized by the presence of masses of ice

  2. relating to, caused by, or deposited by a glacier

  1. extremely cold; icy

  2. cold or hostile in manner: a glacial look

  3. (of a chemical compound) of or tending to form crystals that resemble ice: glacial acetic acid

  4. very slow in progress: a glacial pace

Derived forms of glacial

  • glacially, 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

Scientific definitions for glacial


[ glāshəl ]

  1. Relating to or derived from a glacier.

  2. 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.