Definition of crevasse in English:



  • 1A deep open crack, especially one in a glacier.

    • ‘This time it's like crossing a widening crevasse in a glacier.’
    • ‘Twenty unclimbed mountains, gaping crevasses, blizzards and temperatures plunging to 25 degrees below zero were just some of the challenges overcome by a Navy expedition to Greenland.’
    • ‘A glaciologist said the crevasses could be wide open, waiting to swallow the unwary.’
    • ‘At risk of being stranded out on a glacier overnight by a fierce storm, they must make their way back to their camp over a narrow ice - bridge, which spans a deep crevasse.’
    • ‘Incredibly, he survived, making his way from the crevasse on to the glacier and then crawling all the way back to base camp.’
    • ‘It is not a classically beautiful mountain, with a well-defined peak, but it has a multitude of cracks and crevasses and ledges, a lifetime of problems for a young climber.’
    • ‘The glacier is riddled with crevasses, and the route is often disguised by a thin blanket of new snow.’
    • ‘There are crevasses to fall into, rockfalls, avalanches, and severe weather, particularly the wind, on such a mountain.’
    • ‘Spread across the uneven terrain, this symphony of tonal contrasts seems to magnify the modest image into a windswept snow-covered mountain crest marked by deep crevasses.’
    • ‘Way below him yawns a bottomless crevasse in a glacier.’
    • ‘When my wits returned, I was sprawled out full length on the snow with one leg dangling over the side of an open crevasse.’
    • ‘Cut loose, he has plummeted into a deep crevasse, where against all odds he lands on a fragile ledge and survives.’
    • ‘On good days they could travel no more than 15 miles, and they had to be ever vigilant of the deep crevasses opening up beneath their feet when the snow melted.’
    • ‘Instead of being thick rivers of ice full of crevasses, the glaciers within the Dry Valleys are flat and rather smooth; some are even shaped like pancakes.’
    • ‘The deep crevasses and moving ice in the Kumbu glacier make it the most dangerous part of Mount Everest and it has already claimed the lives of nine climbers.’
    • ‘The lake invades the glacier's deep chasms and crevasses, detonating thunderous explosions as great shards of ice detach and re-emerge as icebergs.’
    • ‘Cool your heels in glistening ice fields, boulder-hop across pristine streams, peer into deep crevasses and climb secret ridges with only mountain goats for company.’
    • ‘According to early reports, the rotor blade of the helicopter hit the rugged vertical surface of a crevasse over a remote glacier in the northern part of the province.’
    • ‘Using such friction plates to provide belays over crevasses or up short, steep sections is often too time-consuming when other methods will suffice, but the device is worth its weight during rescues.’
    • ‘This tends to break the glacier apart into many crevasses on the glacier's surface (around 100 to 200 feet deep, generally).’
    chasm, abyss, fissure, cleft, crack, split, breach, rift, gap, hole, opening, pit, cavity, crater
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    1. 1.1North American A breach in the embankment of a river or canal.
      • ‘Dogfish roam the area looking for prey and large crabs bury themselves in small crevasses and sand pockets.’
      • ‘This expansion of the compressed river of ice causes crevasse fields to develop.’
      • ‘Deeper, deeper, we follow the crevasse until it opens onto a coral wall.’
      • ‘Crevasse splay deposits are floodplain deposits formed by the breaching of a levee, typically during flood events.’
      • ‘Like his fellow citizens, he took a lively interest in the great swellings of the Mississippi River, which periodically breached the levees in what were known as crevasses.’
      • ‘Caves and Caverns and Victory Reef, north of Bimini, had some fun crevasses and swim-throughs, while at Elkhorn Reef off Andros an enormous spotted eagle ray twice cruised by at close range.’


Early 19th century: from French, from Old French crevace (see crevice).