Definition of glacier in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɡlasɪə//ˈɡleɪsɪə/


  • A slowly moving mass or river of ice formed by the accumulation and compaction of snow on mountains or near the poles.

    • ‘They had to cross the mountains, glaciers and snowfields to reach the whaling station on the other side.’
    • ‘We were rewarded next day with brilliant sunshine over a vista of glaciers, bergs, mountains and a sea so dazzling it seemed unreal.’
    • ‘Unlike the floating ice shelves, thinning glaciers contribute to global sea-level rise.’
    • ‘He could see the snowy land in the distance followed by icy mountains and glaciers.’
    • ‘The moderately steep walk rewards you with wonderful views of the glacier and the mountains.’
    • ‘It is a country dominated by high peaks and wide flat stretches of lava field, powerful waterfalls and creaking glaciers.’
    • ‘The widespread retreat is all the more notable because tropical mountain glaciers are old.’
    • ‘There are glaciers, alpine mountains, sandy beaches - it's quite extraordinary.’
    • ‘It is the land of lakes, glaciers and waterfalls shedding their endless charm forever.’
    • ‘He said the glaciers in the mountains of Europe now are crumbling due to global warming.’
    • ‘The drier northern section is largely covered with ice caps while glaciers are common at the more humid southern end.’
    • ‘Above us, waterfalls tumbled down the mountainside from glaciers that hung over the lip of high cols.’
    • ‘The site tracks the waxing and waning of snow cover, glaciers, sea ice, and ice shelves.’
    • ‘Ice sheets, glaciers and underground lakes and rivers carry the rest.’
    • ‘Nowhere in the world would one find such a high concentration of huge mountains, peaks, glaciers and passes.’
    • ‘The mountain range has 3,200 glaciers with hundreds of millions of cubic metres of snow.’
    • ‘How many people will still travel to the mountain if the glaciers are gone?’
    • ‘As well, glaciers that supply the rivers with much of their water are melting and retreating faster.’
    • ‘Snow, glaciers and ice flows feed these large ice sheets in the colder months.’
    • ‘It is true that in some areas glaciers are retreating, but the venues for the Winter Olympics rely more on snow fields than glaciers.’
    frozen water
    View synonyms


Mid 18th century: from French, from glace ‘ice’, based on Latin glacies.