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arête

[uh-reyt] /əˈreɪt/
noun, Physical Geography, Geology
1.
a sharp rugged mountain ridge, produced by glaciation.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65; < French; Old French areste sharp ridge < Latin arista awn, ear of wheat
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for arête
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for arête

arête

/əˈreɪt; əˈrɛt/
noun
1.
a sharp ridge separating two cirques or glacial valleys in mountainous regions
Word Origin
C19: from French: fishbone, backbone (of a fish), ridge, sharp edge, from Latin arista ear of corn, fishbone
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 arête
arête
"sharp crest of a mountain," 1862, from Swiss Fr., from L. arista "ear of grain," which probably is of Etruscan origin.
arete
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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arête in Science
arête
  (ə-rāt')   
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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Encyclopedia Article for arête

arete

(French: "ridge"), in geology, a sharp-crested serrate ridge separating the heads of opposing valleys (cirques) that formerly were occupied by Alpine glaciers. It has steep sides formed by the collapse of unsupported rock, undercut by continual freezing and thawing (glacial sapping; see cirque). Two opposing glaciers meeting at an arete will carve a low, smooth gap, or col. An arete may culminate in a high triangular peak or horn (such as the Matterhorn) formed by three or more glaciers eroding toward each other

Learn more about arete with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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