glacier

[gley-sher]
noun
an extended mass of ice formed from snow falling and accumulating over the years and moving very slowly, either descending from high mountains, as in valley glaciers, or moving outward from centers of accumulation, as in continental glaciers.

Origin:
1735–45; < dialectal French, derivative of Old French glace ice < Late Latin glacia (for Latin glaciēs)

glaciered, adjective
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World English Dictionary
glacier (ˈɡlæsɪə, ˈɡleɪs-)
 
n
a slowly moving mass of ice originating from an accumulation of snow. It can either spread out from a central mass (continental glacier) or descend from a high valley (alpine glacier)
 
[C18: from French (Savoy dialect), from Old French glace ice, from Late Latin glacia, from Latin glaciēs ice]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

glacier
1744, from Fr. glacier, from Savoy dialect glacière "moving mass of ice," from O.Fr. glace "ice," from L. glacies (see glacial).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
glacier   (glā'shər)  Pronunciation Key 
A large mass of ice moving very slowly through a valley or spreading outward from a center. Glaciers form over many years from packed snow in areas where snow accumulates faster than it melts. A glacier is always moving, but when its forward edge melts faster than the ice behind it advances, the glacier as a whole shrinks backward.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

glacier definition


A large mass of ice formed over many years that does not melt during the summer. Glaciers move slowly over an area of land such as a mountain valley.

Note: Glaciers exist in high mountains throughout the temperate zones and cover most of Antarctica. Glaciers recede during warm periods and can expand during cold periods, creating ice ages.
Note: A significant percentage of the water of the Earth is locked up in glaciers.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
New species evolve when some geographic barrier-a mountain range, an ocean, a glacier-divides a population.
The scientists also measure how fast the glacier is traveling.
They penetrated a 50-foot layer of fresh snow to lay bare the real skin of the
  glacier.
When the growth of a glacier can be compared to its rate of dissipation, it may
  be possible to forecast a glacier's future.
Images for glacier
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