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[kruh-vas] /krəˈvæs/
a fissure, or deep cleft, in glacial ice, the earth's surface, etc.
a breach in an embankment or levee.
verb (used with object), crevassed, crevassing.
to fissure with crevasses.
Origin of crevasse
1805-15, Americanism; < French; see crevice
Related forms
uncrevassed, adjective
Can be confused
crevice, crevasse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for crevasse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Lisle reflected rapidly as he followed up the crevasse, which showed no sign of narrowing.

    The Long Portage Harold Bindloss
  • When we came abreast of the crevasse, we could see through it to the country beyond.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • From far down in the blue depths of the crevasse there arose a terrible sound, as if of a heavy blow.

    Rivers of Ice R.M. Ballantyne
  • “We are beyond the end of the crevasse,” he said; and once more they went on upward.

    The Crystal Hunters George Manville Fenn
  • Another flow of tears seemed imminent, but Tripp hurled himself into the crevasse and dammed it.

    Options O. Henry
  • The ruin had all been below—below the crevasse they had just crossed.

    The Plant Hunters Mayne Reid
  • It was expected that unless she had fallen into a crevasse she would turn up at the camp that night.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
British Dictionary definitions for crevasse


a deep crack or fissure, esp in the ice of a glacier
(US) a break in a river embankment
(transitive) (US) to make a break or fissure in (a dyke, wall, etc)
Word Origin
C19: from French: crevice
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 crevasse

1823, of glaciers; 1814, of riverbanks (in that case from Louisiana French), from French crevasse, from Old French crevace "crevice" (see crevice). Essentially the same word as crevice, but re-adopted in senses for which the meaning that had taken hold in crevice was felt to be too small.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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crevasse in Science
  1. A deep fissure in a glacier or other body of ice. Crevasses are usually caused by differential movement of parts of the ice over an uneven topography.

  2. A large, deep fissure in the Earth caused by an earthquake.

  3. A wide crack or breach in the bank of a river. Crevasses usually form during floods. ◇ The sediments that spill out through the crevasse and fan out along the external margin of the river's bank form a crevasse splay deposit.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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