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[skahrp] /skɑrp/
a line of cliffs formed by the faulting or fracturing of the earth's crust; an escarpment.
Fortification. an escarp.
verb (used with object)
to form or cut into a steep slope.
Origin of scarp
1580-90; < Italian scarpa a slope. See escarp Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for scarp
  • The scarp is the only tectonic scarp in the entire seismic zone.
  • The stream rapidly lowered the scarp and in about two years appeared as a rapids of moderate gradient.
  • scarp sponge populations were quantified by transects that run parallel to and on top of t he scarp.
British Dictionary definitions for scarp


a steep slope, esp one formed by erosion or faulting; escarpment See also cuesta
(fortifications) the side of a ditch cut nearest to and immediately below a rampart
(transitive; often passive) to wear or cut so as to form a steep slope
Word Origin
C16: from Italian scarpa
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for scarp

"steep slope," 1580s, from Italian scarpa "slope," probably from a Germanic source, perhaps Gothic skarpo "pointed object," from Proto-Germanic *skarpa- "cutting, sharp" (cf. Middle High German schroffe "sharp rock, crag," Old English scræf "cave, grave"), from PIE *(s)ker- "to cut" (see shear (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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scarp in Science
A continuous line of cliffs produced by vertical movement of the Earth's crust along a fault or by erosion. The term is often used interchangeably with escarpment but is more accurately associated with cliffs produced by faulting rather than those produced by erosional processes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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