noun Physical Geography, Geology.
a sharp rugged mountain ridge, produced by glaciation.

1860–65; < French; Old French areste sharp ridge < Latin arista awn, ear of wheat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
arête (əˈreɪt, əˈrɛt)
a sharp ridge separating two cirques or glacial valleys in mountainous regions
[C19: from French: fishbone, backbone (of a fish), ridge, sharp edge, from Latin arista ear of corn, fishbone]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"sharp crest of a mountain," 1862, from Swiss Fr., from L. arista "ear of grain," which probably is of Etruscan origin.

important concept in Gk. philosophy, "virtue, excellence," lit. "that which is good." The comp. form is areion, the superl. is aristos (cf. aristocracy).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
arête   (ə-rāt')  Pronunciation Key 
A sharp, narrow ridge or spur commonly found above the snow line in mountainous areas that have been sculpted by glaciers. Arêtes form as the result of the continued backward erosion of adjoining cirques.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Northeast-looking photograph showing a well-formed sharp-peaked horn and connected arete ridge.
Arete does bring up a good point, though, in the second half of the post.
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