Definitions

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

  • n. A gentle slope; an incline.
  • n. A slope extending down from a fortification.
  • n. A neutral area separating conflicting forces.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A gentle incline in front of a fortification.
  • n. The angled armour plate on the front of a tank; glacis plate.
  • n. A device for sorting mail which slides parcels across a sloped surface.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A gentle slope, or a smooth, gently sloping bank; especially (Fort.), that slope of earth which inclines from the covered way toward the exterior ground or country (see Illust. of ravelin).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A gentle slope or sloping bank.
  • n. An easy slope, like that of the shingle piled on the shore by the action of the tides and waves, less steep than a talus.

Etymologies

French, from Old French, from glacer, to slide, from glace, ice, from Vulgar Latin *glacia, from Latin glaciēs; see gel- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • a weekend in glacis is bad for your homeostasis

    November 19, 2014

  • There once was a man from Caracas
    Who tried hard to rhyme the word glacis
    But try as he might
    His attempts were pure shite
    And gringo linguists thought he was crackers

    November 18, 2014

  • And then there’s the word as spoke in Taz-ese,
    Where they improvise with loose jazz ease.
    In Van Diemen’s land
    (I have it first hand)
    They pronounce the word “glacis.”

    November 18, 2014

  • I love this glacis to piecis.

    November 17, 2014

  • Wise bilby need not write it twice,
    Let’s lend an ear to his advice.
    We can use précis
    And rhyme it with glacis
    But there are some who say “glacis.”

    November 17, 2014

  • Thank you for you precis of glacis.

    November 17, 2014

  • For some there’s joy in steepest places;
    They burn to climb high alpine faces.
    But a diligent student
    Of what’s safe and prudent
    Will opt for a stroll on the glacis.

    November 17, 2014

  • I found at least five different suggested pronunciations for glacis; also, some dictionaries treat it as a word of chiefly military application and only secondarily a term of geology while others reverse this balance. It is an oddly promiscuous word.

    November 17, 2014

  • "The Dwelling seemed to be a sort of town of rounded buildings more like lime-kilns than anything else, with arched doors leading to dark insides. They were all built of tiny stones, such as lay on the beach. Beyond the huts or houses towered the castle, a vast rough structure with towers and arches and buttresses and bastions and glacis and bridges and a great moat all around it."
    The Magic City by E. Nesbit, p 119 of the SeaStar Books paperback

    October 31, 2010

  • Citation on counterscarp.

    July 30, 2008