Definition of alpine in English:



  • 1Relating to high mountains.

    ‘alpine and subalpine habitats’
    • ‘In late summer, many move to alpine and sub-alpine meadows.’
    • ‘The severity and unpredictably of higher latitude and alpine habitats present special challenges to birds and mammals who live out some or all of their lives there.’
    • ‘I was one of the first people to see the Staunings Alps in 1954, a fantastic alpine terrain which is full of marvellous, unclimbed peaks and with continuous daylight in summer.’
    • ‘Mountain Bluebirds can be found in alpine parklands in the Cascades, the Blue Mountains, and the northeast corner of Washington.’
    • ‘Hiking to glacial lakes and waterfalls in the high alpine terrain, we'll access vistas where Napi looks over his people.’
    • ‘Some of the characters believed to be correlated with DNA amount are alpine habitat, life history and breeding system.’
    • ‘In the centre of the country, the alpine moorland and montane forests of Mt. Kenya and the Aberdares conceal rare bongo antelope, red duiker, suni, bushbuck, Giant forest hog and colobus monkeys.’
    • ‘They inhabit every terrestrial ecosystem on earth, from rainforest canopies to alpine mountains, from lakes and rivers to hot dry deserts.’
    • ‘And it seems admirers have a treat in store this year on Girraween's alpine style heathlands, meadows and high altitude forests.’
    • ‘Plant communities thrive there, from ribbons of riparian plants to sagebrush fiats, lodgepole pine forests, subalpine meadows and alpine stone fields.’
    • ‘Our journey takes us through about 41 miles of incredible Sierra terrain, high alpine passes, glistening lakes, and snow-dotted mountains.’
    • ‘They generally prefer open country and can be found in habitat from salt marshes at sea level to areas of alpine tundra at high elevation.’
    • ‘The Bavarian Lodge offers nature tours into Williams Lake Glacial Canyon, a unique alpine wetland.’
    • ‘On the telephone she sung hymns to the joys of alpine mountain biking.’
    • ‘Imagine the perfect alpine backdrop: Mountain peaks surround you as far as the eye can see.’
    • ‘Vermont is crammed with forested mountains, cliffs and alpine streams that form the basis for ice climbing: frozen rock faces and gullies laced with frozen waterfalls and icy snowmelt.’
    • ‘In alpine environments, plants may be exposed to high temperatures during the day, but may be subject to overnight lows near freezing.’
    • ‘The hikers start in tropical rainforest territory and travel through moorlands, alpine meadows and glaciers on the summit.’
    • ‘It is a bright summer's day, and the scenery all around is pleasant - alpine mountain ranges in the distance, green grass and tall trees elsewhere.’
    • ‘Spotted Sandpipers breed in a variety of freshwater habitats from sea level to alpine areas, although they are not as common at higher elevations.’
    hilly, craggy, rocky, high, steep, precipitous
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Relating to the Alps.
      ‘Alpine guides’
      • ‘The gas would be piped in from the Alpine oil and gas field, eight miles north of the Inupiat village of about 450 people.’
      • ‘But all seemed normal in the picture-postcard Alpine village of 3117 people.’
      • ‘Marvel at the terrifying Alpine passes into Switzerland and the Gothic architecture of Germany and Belgium.’
      • ‘It has long been known that high Alpine grass has potent qualities.’
      • ‘Her virtual car lurches forward, overtaking a rival competitor tearing around the Alpine race track.’
      • ‘At first sight, it is your standard-issue Alpine hotel: built on old cattle pasture and still run by the family that owned the cows.’
      • ‘So keen was she on the area that she spent £500,000 and four years buying and renovating her own Alpine chalet.’
      • ‘It's now as smooth and gleaming, and as ruddily glowing, as a freshly deforested Alpine slope at sunset.’
      • ‘The compressed blue ice which is visible deep inside an Alpine crevasse will have fallen as snow several decades earlier.’
      • ‘He was allowed to remain temporarily in the Alpine country after filing an appeal against the decision.’
      • ‘Taking the family skiing over Christmas or half-term can cost a fortune, so would it make more sense to invest in your own Alpine property?’
      • ‘Beaver Creek village is a facsimile of an idealised Alpine village, with inconveniences such as ice and cattle removed.’
      • ‘Mont Chery, almost its own little Alpine resort in miniature, is to the immediate east of Les Gets.’
      • ‘This is a lovely Alpine setting, with the loch beautifully cradled below the steep Sgor Iutharn and its Lancet Edge ridge.’
      • ‘Those trees, and the four-star hotel's external wooden features, lend it an almost Alpine appearance.’
      • ‘The Alpine scenery takes on a completely different aspect in summer.’
      • ‘You can play tennis for a couple of hours a day, then relax in the beautiful Alpine surroundings, or you can take the sporty theme and run with it.’
      • ‘In between desert trips, she became an intrepid Alpine climber.’
      • ‘Legend has it that the cold Alpine winters made it impossible to deliver milk, so this ultra creamy, runny cheese was made with the milk instead.’
      • ‘You get to watch benevolently, breathe in crisp Alpine air, sip Swiss wine and wolf down chocolates by the handful.’
    2. 1.2Skiing Relating to or denoting skiing downhill.
      ‘an alpine ski team’
      Often contrasted with Nordic
      • ‘The Alpine Trekker is simply a dummy ski-boot sole that you clip into your alpine ski binding.’
      • ‘Shops and restaurants would complete the building, set to overtake Milton Keynes as the biggest indoor alpine ski complex in Britain.’
      • ‘Events include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and alpine downhill racing at the Sunshine Village, one of the most exclusive areas of Banff in the Canadian Rockies.’
      • ‘This was a hoot, since the exam was given on an alpine hill that I skied on with my long, skinny, wooden skis.’
      • ‘But, more than the excitement, the sheer seclusion and beauty that a quiet alpine ski run can give is something rarely experienced.’


  • 1A plant native to mountain districts, often suitable for growing in rock gardens.

    ‘a collection of alpines and dwarf bulbs’
    • ‘Trough gardens are ideal places to display tiny horticultural treasures: dwarf conifers, alpines, miniature succulents, and other precious little plants.’
    • ‘Striking this seam of rock marked the beginning of a fundamental change in the way she gardened, and she decided to concentrate on making the most of what she had by planting with alpines.’
    • ‘The four acre garden provides a decorative home for many interesting and unusual plants including a large rock garden with rare alpines, colourful herbaceous borders, rhododendrons and a choice collection of tress and shrubs.’
    • ‘As well as bedding plants, Mrs Malkinson grows a range of herbaceous perennials and alpines which are displayed at her front door.’
    • ‘Believe it or not, although I have gardened for years on a property that contains plants from fruit trees through small alpines, I do not own a pressure sprayer.’
  • 2A North American butterfly which has brownish-black wings with orange-red markings.

    Genus Erebia, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae

    • ‘An increasing amount of forests along ridgetops in the front ranges of the Canadian Rocky Mountains is reducing the ability of some alpine butterflies to disperse among patches of suitable habitat.’
    • ‘Here we use mark-recapture methods to estimate movement of the alpine butterfly through both meadow and forest habitats’


Late Middle English: from Latin Alpinus, from Alpes ‘Alps’ (see alp).