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How to pronounce avalanche (audio)

Dictionary definition of 'avalanche'

A sudden and rapid flow of snow, ice, rocks, or debris down a steep slope or mountainside.
"We heard a loud rumble as the avalanche thundered down the mountainside."

Detailed meaning of 'avalanche'

It is a natural phenomenon that occurs when a mass of snow or other materials become unstable and are set in motion, cascading downward with great force and speed. Avalanches can be triggered by various factors, including snowfall, wind, temperature changes, or human activities such as skiing or snowboarding. They pose a significant danger to both human life and property, as their powerful force can sweep away everything in their path. Avalanches are known for their destructive capabilities, capable of burying entire landscapes, blocking roads, or damaging infrastructure. Due to their unpredictable nature, avalanche forecasting and safety measures are essential for individuals and communities living or recreating in mountainous regions. Understanding the causes, characteristics, and behavior of avalanches is crucial in minimizing risks and ensuring the safety of those in avalanche-prone areas.

History and etymology of 'avalanche'

The noun 'avalanche' has its origins in the French word 'avalanche,' which is believed to have been borrowed from the Franco-Provençal word 'lavantse,' meaning 'downrush' or 'descent.' This term was formed from the prefix 'av,' meaning 'down,' and 'lantse,' derived from 'lanser,' meaning 'to throw' or 'to launch.' The word 'avalanche' was originally used in mountainous regions like the Alps to describe the sudden and rapid flow of snow, ice, rocks, or debris down a steep slope or mountainside. As the term found its way into English in the 18th century, it retained its association with these natural phenomena. The etymology of 'avalanche' underscores the swift and forceful descent of materials down a slope, reflecting the inherent danger and power of such events.

Example sentences containing 'avalanche'

1. The hiker triggered a small avalanche while traversing a steep slope.
2. The skiers enjoyed fresh powder after a controlled avalanche cleared the slopes.
3. The warning signs indicated a high avalanche danger in the area.
4. The snowboarder triggered an avalanche when he went off-piste.
5. The snow patrol conducted regular avalanche control measures to ensure the safety of the ski resort.
6. The avalanche buried the mountain village in snow.
7. Survivors shared their terrifying stories of the avalanche.
8. The avalanche warning was broadcast on the radio.
9. Climbers were cautioned about the risk of avalanches.
10. The rescue team searched for survivors after the avalanche.
11. An avalanche of debris blocked the highway.
12. Skiers triggered an avalanche while on the slopes.
13. Avalanche safety equipment is essential in the backcountry.
14. The avalanche threat forced the closure of the ski resort.
15. A massive avalanche devastated the remote area.
16. The avalanche danger was high after heavy snowfall.
17. She narrowly escaped being caught in the avalanche.
18. The avalanche experts studied the snowpack.
19. The noise of the avalanche was deafening.
20. Avalanche control measures were in place to protect the town.
21. The avalanche left a trail of destruction in its path.
22. The avalanche risk increased with rising temperatures.
23. The rescue dogs helped locate victims of the avalanche.
24. He was well-prepared for an avalanche while mountaineering.
25. The avalanche awareness program aims to educate the public.



Quiz categories containing 'avalanche'


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