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glacier

[ gley-sher ]
/ ˈgleɪ ʃər /
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See synonyms for: glacier / glaciers on Thesaurus.com

noun

an extended mass of ice formed from snow falling and accumulating over the years and moving very slowly, either descending from high mountains, as in valley glaciers, or moving outward from centers of accumulation, as in continental glaciers.

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Origin of glacier

1735–45; <dialectal French, derivative of Old French glace ice <Late Latin glacia (for Latin glaciēs)
glaciered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for glacier

glacier
/ (ˈɡlæsɪə, ˈɡleɪs-) /

noun

a slowly moving mass of ice originating from an accumulation of snow. It can either spread out from a central mass (continental glacier) or descend from a high valley (alpine glacier)
C18: from French (Savoy dialect), from Old French glace ice, from Late Latin glacia, from Latin glaciēs ice
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 glacier

glacier
[ glāshər ]

A large mass of ice moving very slowly through a valley or spreading outward from a center. Glaciers form over many years from packed snow in areas where snow accumulates faster than it melts. A glacier is always moving, but when its forward edge melts faster than the ice behind it advances, the glacier as a whole shrinks backward.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for glacier

glacier

A large mass of ice formed over many years that does not melt during the summer. Glaciers move slowly over an area of land such as a mountain valley.

Glaciers exist in high mountains throughout the temperate zones and cover most of Antarctica. Glaciers recede during warm periods and can expand during cold periods, creating ice ages.
A significant percentage of the water of the Earth is locked up in glaciers.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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