Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A rosy glow that suffuses snow-covered mountain peaks at dawn or dusk on a clear day.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rosy or reddish glow seen near sunset or sunrise on the summits of mountains, especially snow covered mountains.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A reddish glow seen near sunset or sunrise on the summits of mountains; specif., a reillumination sometimes observed after the summits have passed into shadow, supposed to be due to a curving downward (refraction) of the light rays from the west resulting from the cooling of the air.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The glow upon the Alps; a peculiar reflection of sunlight from their snowy heights, after the sun has disappeared to the valleys, or just before daybreak; the last or first rays of the sun among the Alps, casting a rich purple tint, an effect sometimes heightened by a certain amount of humidity in the atmosphere.

Etymologies

Partial translation of German Alpenglühen : Alpen, Alps + glühen, to glow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
A calque of German Alpenglühen, from Alpen ("Alps") + glühen ("to glow"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The sun was sliding toward the horizon, throwing beautiful but alarming alpenglow on the mountains and valleys below.

    Summit Meetings

  • Amber mists, a cloaked old man with a staff, a cluster of flamingos standing in the alpenglow—a vision so steeped in kitsch you could die just by buying the postcard.

    Underworld

  • As the alpenglow died and darkness tightened, they settled by their haul bags on the dirt beneath an overhang.

    The Wall

  • There were probably four more hours before sunset, and then another hour of alpenglow after that.

    The Wall

  • There are two stages to alpenglow, a first surge that waxes and wanes, fooling amateur photographers into stowing away their cameras, and then a sudden short-lived second rush of colors.

    The Wall

  • Peach-colored alpenglow illuminated the great peaks, giving hint of the sun's impending presence.

    Genellan- Planetfall

  • The eastern slopes of Erebus were violet at first, and then they were bathe in rosy pink alpenglow and, between two and three o'clock, when the sun rose above WindVane Hill, they became sunflower yellow.

    Terra Incognita

  • The volcano did not shine or sparkle in the false alpenglow.

    Icerigger

  • The lower ranges were forested, as was the valley between, and there was a redmauve alpenglow on the great peak that rose from the head of the valley.

    Space Viking

  • The lower ranges were forested, as was the valley between, and there was a red-mauve alpenglow on the great peak that rose from the head of the valley.

    Space Viking

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • (n): reddish light at sunset or sunrise on mountaintops, esp. occuring before appearance or after disappearance of sun.

    November 16, 2008