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[nuhn-uh-tak] /ˈnʌn əˌtæk/
a hill or mountain that has been completely encircled by a glacier.
Origin of nunatak
1875-80; < Inuit (West Greenlandic) nunataq Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nunatak
Historical Examples
  • In the centre of the bay was a nunatak, which from its shape at once received the name of the Alligator.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • At each end of the nunatak there was a very fine bergschrund.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • A number of the stones from Scott's nunatak were brought away because they were thickly overgrown with lichens.

  • Later I climbed the large nunatak Island, seven thousand feet high, near the west margin of the glacier.

    Travels in Alaska John Muir
  • The second nunatak was on the course; a sharp peak in the south, hidden by the contour of the uprising ridges.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • Two Indians carried the baggage over the rocky moraine to the clear glacier at the side of one of the eastern nunatak Islands.

    Travels in Alaska John Muir
  • We very soon put our things together, and came down the nunatak even more quickly.

  • One of us, in any case, found immense enjoyment in rolling one big block after another down the steep slopes of the nunatak.

  • The schistose rocks from Scott's nunatak are streaked, and, in part, very fine-grained quartz diorite schists.

British Dictionary definitions for nunatak


an isolated mountain peak projecting through the surface of surrounding glacial ice and supporting a distinct fauna and flora after recession of the ice
Word Origin
C19: via Danish from Inuktitut
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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