Definition of tombolo in English:


nounPlural tombolos

  • A bar of sand or shingle joining an island to the mainland.

    • ‘A crest much above this level effectively converts a reef to a detached breakwater, introducing the potential for the formation of harmful tombolos and disruption to longshore processes.’
    • ‘Several varieties of tombolos have been recognized in all parts of the globe, linking islands along the edges of lakes as well as oceans.’
    • ‘The sediments that form tombolos often form in ridges along an underwater wave-cut terrace.’
    • ‘The longshore current can carry large amounts of sand along the coast and can form spits (narrow peninsulas of sand), barrier islands and tombolos (narrow sand deposits connecting a near-shore island with the beach).’
    • ‘Due to input of sediment from rivers, marine deltas may form, due to beach and longshore drift such features as spits, bay barriers, and tombolos may form.’
    • ‘Waves and currents sort these materials, and deposit them on a bar, spit, cuspate foreland, tombolo, or beach.’
    • ‘The two lagoons are enclosed by two strips of land called Feniglia and Giannella tombolos, where tourists can find kilometres of delightful beaches.’
    • ‘He has said that what is termed as Adam's Bridge or Ramar Sethu in the Palk Straits is a tombolo, a sand deposit.’
    • ‘The lakeshore processes displayed through the formation of numerous bars, spits and tombolos within the lakes of this park are tentatively assigned provincial significance.’
    • ‘You'll just get a cascading series of problems to do with the mechanics of maintaining the tombolo at the same time as having a canal going through it.’
    • ‘The tombolo is an exceptionally diverse and complex association of rare landforms and natural communities on the southeast end of 10,000 acre Stockton Island.’
    • ‘Hills Beach to the north and Fletcher Neck to the south, comprise the pair of supratidal tombolos that protect the embayment, or ‘The Pool’, from the open ocean.’
    • ‘Tidal tombolos are the most volatile area of the beach, migrating up to 30m during individual storm events of only a few days.’
    • ‘Salients and tombolos tend to occur when the distance between the island and the shoreline is less than four times the size of the island.’
    • ‘Some vegetative colonization is occurring on the tombolos.’
    • ‘Coastal barriers may be described by their relationships to the mainland as bay barriers, tombolos, barrier spits, and barrier islands.’
    sandbank, bank, mudbank, bar, sandbar, shallow, shelf, sands
    View synonyms


Late 19th century: from Italian, literally ‘sand dune’.