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[fyawrd, fyohrd; Norwegian fyohr, fyoo r] /fyɔrd, fyoʊrd; Norwegian fyoʊr, fyʊər/
a long, narrow arm of the sea bordered by steep cliffs: usually formed by glacial erosion.
(in Scandinavia) a bay.
Also, fiord.
< Norwegian; see firth
Related forms
fjordic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for fjords
  • Glaciers slowly grind their way over mountains and plains, moving immense boulders and carving out fjords.
  • fjords are deep coastal valleys formed by glacial action and flooded by the sea.
  • Its policies are conscious of the environment, particularly its own coastline of mountains and fjords.
  • Now, the fjords visible in this summer image have frozen and can be crossed on foot.
  • The fjords sing to one's soul as they are bathed in the lingering light of a dying northern sun.
  • Now, the fjords visible in the summer image above have frozen and can be crossed on foot.
  • It's a gorgeous country, and the fjords are amazing.
  • Glimpse the beauty of the fjords' icy waters aboard a snowmobile.
  • Laced with forests and fjords, this is reindeer and northern lights country-and major red king crab territory.
  • Sea water that is both deep and still, such as at the bottoms of some fjords, tends to be hypoxic or anoxic.
British Dictionary definitions for fjords


(esp on the coast of Norway) a long narrow inlet of the sea between high steep cliffs formed by glacial action
Word Origin
C17: from Norwegian, from Old Norse fjörthr; see firth, ford
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fjords



1670s, from Norwegian fiord, from Old Norse fjörðr, from North Germanic *ferthuz, from PIE *prtus, from *per- "going, passage" (see port (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fjords in Science
A long, narrow, deep inlet from the sea between steep slopes of a mountainous coast. Fjords usually occur where ocean water flows into valleys formed near the coast by glaciers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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