Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or derived from a glacier.
  • adj. Suggesting the extreme slowness of a glacier: Work proceeded at a glacial pace.
  • adj. Characterized or dominated by the existence of glaciers. Used of a geologic epoch.
  • adj. Pleistocene. See Table at geologic time.
  • adj. Extremely cold; icy: glacial waters. See Synonyms at cold.
  • adj. Having the appearance of ice.
  • adj. Lacking warmth and friendliness: a glacial stare.
  • adj. Coldly detached: a glacial composure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of, or relating to glaciers
  • adj. very slow
  • adj. cold and icy
  • adj. having the appearance of ice
  • adj. cool and unfriendly

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to ice or to its action; consisting of ice; frozen; icy; esp., pertaining to glaciers.
  • adj. Resembling ice; having the appearance and consistency of ice; -- said of certain solid compounds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Icy; consisting of ice; frozen; hence, resembling ice; figuratively, having a cold, glassy look or manner.
  • In geology, referring to ice; associated with the geological agency of ice.
  • Of or relating to a glacier or an ice-sheet.
  • In chem., assuming the solid state as a result of concentration: used chiefly of certain acids (as acetic, sulphuric, and phosphoric acids) which are commonly seen as liquids but solidify at low temperatures when concentrated by removal of water.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. relating to or derived from a glacier
  • adj. devoid of warmth and cordiality; expressive of unfriendliness or disdain
  • adj. extremely cold

Etymologies

French from Old French, icy, from Latin glaciālis, from glaciēs, ice; see gel- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French glacial, from Latin glaciālis, from glaciēs ("ice"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I would be interested for your explanation of atmospheric gas bubbles and volcanic ash in glacial ice.

    Man made global warming? No way!

  • So while we may be seeing a gradual sea rise due to glacial melt, once the glacial is gone, things may get hot fast.

    An Inconvenient Truth

  • This may be spurious conclusion if you superimpose the jökulhlaup observation on a continuous long term glacial retreat since the end of the last ice age of the non-little variety.

    Unthreaded #8 « Climate Audit

  • On cooling from the fused state it forms a glassy solid, and on this account is often called glacial phosphoric acid.

    An Elementary Study of Chemistry

  • I use it to put current climate change into perspective, but also also to make the point that small changes in the earth’s temperature can be dramatic – in particular, the graph indicates that the difference between the last ice age and the current inter-glacial is about 2°C average global temperature.

    2009 July 30 | Serendipity

  • The first is that any advance toward implementing a proper commitment on reducing carbon dioxide emissions will again be what used to be known as glacial.

    Poor must have the burden of global warming lifted

  • He called glacial striations “trails left by the intruder.”

    Chamberlin, Thomas Chrowder

  • Alps and Andes are children of yesterday when compared with Snowdon and the Cumberland hills; and the so-called glacial epoch — that in which perhaps the most extensive physical changes of which any record remaining occurred — is the last and the newest of the revolutions of the globe.

    Essays

  • Prepossessed as I was with the idea of glacial agency in times anterior to ours, these phenomena appeared to me under a new aspect.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864

  • Some will say, that the fact of the advance of ice-fields over an open country is by no means established, inasmuch as many geologists believe all the so-called glacial traces, viz. striæ, furrows, polish, etc., found in the United

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866

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