Definition of escarpment in English:



  • A long, steep slope, especially one at the edge of a plateau or separating areas of land at different heights.

    • ‘The first couple of miles are along the top edge of the western escarpment of the Hambleton Hills.’
    • ‘The country's central regions are marked by plateaus and escarpments.’
    • ‘It was like an escarpment, sloping up gently on one side and dropping vertically to 90m on the other.’
    • ‘Just after that there are good views west off the edge of the escarpment in addition to those north towards the Cleveland Hills.’
    • ‘Once the more resistant gently dipping rocks of the Cotswolds have been removed, the underlying softer beds are easily eroded, so the Jurassic escarpments to the east of the Vales of Evesham and Gloucester retreated through time.’
    • ‘The escarpment where the plateau met the plain became the Vindhya mountains.’
    • ‘The area sits in the western Rift Valley adjacent to the escarpment of the Fipa plateau.’
    • ‘Whereas tectonic activity may supply the thickened crust and the high surface altitudes, most of the Earth's dramatic scenery, from sea cliffs to continental escarpments to deep mountain valleys, is cut by erosional processes.’
    • ‘Crossing the Hakos Mountains at the edge of the Namibian escarpment is our greatest challenge.’
    • ‘From the pass head due south up the ridge, along a rocky escarpment then up grassy slopes to a stony summit.’
    • ‘Many other streams and waterfalls run through this area's rocky escarpments and narrow valleys.’
    • ‘The lowland rainforest is abruptly fractured by the Pakaraima Mountains, an area dominated by bold escarpments and lush, forested valleys.’
    • ‘The sides of abyssal hills are fault escarpments created by vertical uplift of the sea floor during many events of fault slippage that produce frequent earthquakes.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most striking feature is the steep escarpment that characterizes the northwest-facing edge of the Cotswold Hills.’
    • ‘Flat alluvial fields rise up from the river to meet undulating slopes and escarpments that have been in cultivation since the sixteenth century.’
    • ‘It is built in a lovely location on the edge of an escarpment looking out over the Vale of York.’
    • ‘Sherpa villages cling to the sides of sheer mountain slopes or sit on top of steep escarpments.’
    • ‘To efficiently harvest the region's trees, which average 20 cm in diameter and are perched on slopes and rocky escarpments, calls for some innovative and hardworking contractors.’
    mountain, hill, height, alp, aiguille, serac, puy, crag, tor, inselberg
    View synonyms


Early 19th century: from French escarpement, escarpe ‘scarp’, from Italian scarpa ‘slope’. Compare with scarp.