head wall

  1. a cliff or steep slope rising at one end of a glaciated valley.

Origin of head wall

First recorded in 1640–1650 for an earlier sense “retaining wall built in front or on top of a structure”; current sense dates from 1790–1800

Words Nearby head wall

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use head wall in a sentence

  • It measures more than a mile and a half in diameter, while its head wall towers a sheer 3,600 feet.

    Mount Rainier | Various
  • They were thought to have worn back the head wall little by little, even as a waterfall causes the cliff under it to recede.

    Mount Rainier | Various
  • You were takin chances on the Swift Current head wall, the Ranger said.

    Boy Scouts in Glacier Park | Walter Prichard Eaton
  • The head wall of Huntington Ravine isnt a bad little climb, he said, though one of the side walls is better.

    Boy Scouts in Glacier Park | Walter Prichard Eaton
  • Just to the left, only a mile away, Tom, is the top of the Iceberg Lake head wall.

    Boy Scouts in Glacier Park | Walter Prichard Eaton

Scientific definitions for headwall


[ hĕdwôl′ ]

  1. A steep slope or precipice rising at the head of a valley or glacial cirque.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.