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[kahrst] /kɑrst/
noun, Geology
an area of limestone terrane characterized by sinks, ravines, and underground streams.
1900-05; < German, generic use of Karst, name of limestone plateau north of Trieste
Related forms
karstic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for karstic


(modifier) denoting the characteristic scenery of a limestone region, including underground streams, gorges, etc
Derived Forms
karstic, adjective
Word Origin
C19: German, from Karst, limestone plateau near Trieste
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for karstic



name of a high, barren limestone region around Trieste; used by geologists from 1894 to refer to similar landforms. The word is the German form of Slovenian kras.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for karstic


terrain usually characterized by barren, rocky ground, caves, sinkholes, underground rivers, and the absence of surface streams and lakes. It results from the excavating effects of underground water on massive soluble limestone. The term originally applied to the Karst, a limestone area on the Dalmatian coast on the Adriatic Sea, but has been extended to mean all areas with similar features.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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