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"sharp crest of a mountain," 1862, from Swiss French arête, from Latin arista "ear of grain, the top of an ear," which probably is of Etruscan origin. The figure is of something jagged.
important concept in Greek philosophy, "virtue, excellence," especially of manly qualities; literally "that which is good." The comparative form is areion, the superlative is aristos (cf. aristocracy).
(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