Definition of karst in English:



  • [mass noun] Landscape underlain by limestone which has been eroded by dissolution, producing ridges, towers, fissures, sinkholes and other characteristic landforms:

    [count noun] ‘it was strange country, broken into hummocks and karsts and mesas’
    ‘parts of the karst are barren and treeless’
    ‘volcanic topography superficially resembling true karst’
    • ‘The underlying limestone karst topography allows water to flow in abundant underground rivers, feeding the numerous springs, which flow into the many creeks and streams.’
    • ‘The sequence overlies Upper Triassic to Upper Cretaceous rocks and locally covers Palaeogene karst bauxite deposits.’
    • ‘All of these were vertical shaft caves or caves with steeply sloped entrances located in the limestone-dolostone karst of the Valley and Ridge physiographic province.’
    • ‘The road in Guangxi is relatively good, with at least two paved lanes; the route is quite scenic, with typical karst landscape all along the way.’
    • ‘Subsidence sinkholes are diagnostic landforms of karst, which form in unconsolidated soils or drift deposits overlying cavernous limestone.’


Late 19th century: from German der Karst, the name of a limestone region in Slovenia.