a line of cliffs formed by the faulting or fracturing of the earth's crust; an escarpment.
Fortification. an escarp.

verb (used with object)

to form or cut into a steep slope.

Nearby words

  1. scarlet red,
  2. scarlet runner,
  3. scarlet sage,
  4. scarlet tanager,
  5. scarlet woman,
  6. scarpa,
  7. scarpa's fascia,
  8. scarpa's fluid,
  9. scarpa's foramen,
  10. scarpa's membrane

Origin of scarp

First recorded in 1580–90, scarp is from the Italian word scarpa a slope. See escarp Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scarp

British Dictionary definitions for scarp



a steep slope, esp one formed by erosion or faulting; escarpmentSee also cuesta
fortifications the side of a ditch cut nearest to and immediately below a rampart


(tr; often passive) to wear or cut so as to form a steep slope

Word Origin for scarp

C16: from Italian scarpa

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 scarp



"steep slope," 1580s, from Italian scarpa "slope," probably from a Germanic source, perhaps Gothic skarpo "pointed object," from Proto-Germanic *skarpa- "cutting, sharp" (cf. Middle High German schroffe "sharp rock, crag," Old English scræf "cave, grave"), from PIE *(s)ker- "to cut" (see shear (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for scarp



A continuous line of cliffs produced by vertical movement of the Earth's crust along a fault or by erosion. The term is often used interchangeably with escarpment but is more accurately associated with cliffs produced by faulting rather than those produced by erosional processes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.