- The definition of avalanche means a massive quantity of something that comes suddenly such as snow, ice, earth or rocks that come loose and speed down a mountain.
- An example of avalanche is a glacier that splits from a cliff face and hurdles down the side of a mountain.
- An example of avalanche is getting an unusually large amount of mail on a certain day.
Avalanche warning signs.
avalanche definition by Webster's New World
- a mass of loosened snow, earth, rocks, etc. suddenly and swiftly sliding down a mountain, often growing as it descends
- any large, overwhelming quantity that comes suddenly: an avalanche of mail, of blows, etc.
Origin: French (altered after avaler, to descend) ; from lavanche ; from ProvenÃ§al lavanca ; from an unverified form lavenca, probably a pre-Roman word in a non-IE language of northern Italy
avalanche definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A fall or slide of a large mass, as of snow or rock, down a mountainside.
- A massive or overwhelming amount; a flood: received an avalanche of mail.
Origin: French; akin to Provençal lavanca, ravine, perhaps ultimately from Latin lābī, to slip.
avalanche - Science Definition
- The sudden fall or slide of a large mass of material down the side of a mountain. Avalanches may contain snow, ice, rock, soil, or a mixture of these materials. Avalanches can be triggered by changes in temperature, by sound vibrations, or by vibrations in the earth itself.
- A process resulting in the production of large numbers of ionized particles, in which electrons or ions collide with molecules, with each collision itself producing an additional electron or ion that in turn collides with other molecules. Avalanches are what generate the pulses of electric current that are registered by Geiger counters.