Definitions

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

  • n. An escarpment.
  • transitive v. To cut or make into an escarpment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the steep artificial slope below a fort's parapet
  • n. a cliff at the edge of a plateau or ridge caused by erosion; the steeper side of an escarpment
  • v. to cut, scrape, erode, or otherwise make into a scarp or escarpment

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A band in the same position as the bend sinister, but only half as broad as the latter.
  • n. The slope of the ditch nearest the parapet; the escarp.
  • n. A steep descent or declivity.
  • transitive v. To cut down perpendicularly, or nearly so.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Milit., to cut down (a slope), so as to render it impassable.
  • n. In fortification, the interior talus or slope of the ditch, next the place at the foot of the rampart; hence, any sharp, steep slope. See cut under parapet.
  • n. Same as escarpment, 2.
  • n. A shoulder-belt or scarf: the word is found only in the Middle English form sharpe, and in the heraldic use (def. 2): otherwise in the later form scarf. See scarf.
  • n. In heraldry, a diminutive of the bend sinister, having one half its breadth.

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

  • n. a long steep slope or cliff at the edge of a plateau or ridge; usually formed by erosion
  • n. a steep artificial slope in front of a fortification

Etymologies

Italian scarpa, slope, perhaps of Germanic origin; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The scarp was a tangle of gullies, boulders, and ravines.

    Ice Hunt

  • Halfway up the scarp was a dark horizontal line of bushes, something like a hedge.

    David and the Phoenix

  • Taiwan is looking down on the lovely Liyu Reservoir and peering up at the terrifying landslide scarp at Jiufen Ershan.

    Michael Turton: Taiwan: A Cycling Paradise (SLIDESHOW)

  • When views to the west were lost in fog or hidden behind trees, I would often stand between the fields and wooded scarp slope looking south-east to the Clee Hills: a strangely self-contained land with its two mountains, wide open commons and isolated history.

    Country diary: Wenlock Edge

  • They called for the government to withdraw its controversial bill to scarp the mechanism of having Legislative Council by-elections.

    Asia in Pictures

  • At one point Shannon moves to the base of our scarp and starts prancing around with her hands curled down, performing curvets with one leg.

    Richard Bangs: Following Brad and Angelina to Namibia, Part II

  • We know from looking at cross-cutting relationships between the fault scarp and these very small-diameter craters that the scarps can't be any more than about a billion years old.

    Images Show A Shrinking Moon

  • One of these ones that we knew about from the Apollo era was very close to the Apollo 17 landing site, and astronauts Cernan and Schmitt actually drove their roving vehicle up the scarp face.

    Images Show A Shrinking Moon

  • And actually, as they tried to drive straight up the scarp, they lost traction and had to actually start zigging and zagging to get up the scarp.

    Images Show A Shrinking Moon

  • Dr. WATTERS: I think they were pretty sure, and Jack Schmitt, who specifically or especially who was a geologist, I think recognized that this was very likely a fault scarp.

    Images Show A Shrinking Moon

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