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or serac

[si-rak; French sey-rak] /sɪˈræk; French seɪˈrak/
noun, plural séracs
[si-raks; French sey-rak] /sɪˈræks; French seɪˈrak/ (Show IPA)
a large irregularity of glacial ice, as a pinnacle found in glacial crevasses and formed by melting or movement of the ice.
Origin of sérac
1855-60; < French sérac kind of white cheese (compare Medieval Latin serācium), ultimately < Latin serum whey Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for serac
Historical Examples
  • The region was one of serac where the glacier was puckered up, folded and crushed.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • It is heavily crevassed, as though it once formed the serac portion of a glacier.

    South! Sir Ernest Shackleton
  • Retracing the way out of the broken ice, we steered in a south-westerly direction, just above the line of serac and crevassed ice.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • For many hours a way was won through a mighty turmoil of serac and over innumerable crevasses with varied fortune.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • Whether a stone underfoot gave way, or whether the Admiral's voice brought down a serac of rotten wall, is not clear.

    The Astonishing History of Troy Town Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
British Dictionary definitions for serac


a pinnacle of ice among crevasses on a glacier, usually on a steep slope
Word Origin
C19: from Swiss French: a variety of white cheese (hence the ice that it resembles) from Medieval Latin serācium, from Latin serum whey
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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