Definitions

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

  • n. A steep slope or long cliff that results from erosion or faulting and separates two relatively level areas of differing elevations.
  • n. A steep slope in front of a fortification.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A steep descent or declivity; steep face or edge of a ridge; ground about a fortified place, cut away nearly vertically to prevent hostile approach.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A steep descent or declivity; steep face or edge of a ridge; ground about a fortified place, cut away nearly vertically to prevent hostile approach. See scarp.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In fortification, ground cut away, nearly vertically, about a position in order to render it inaccessible to an enemy.
  • n. Hence The precipitous side of any hill or rock; the abrupt face of a high ridge of land; a cliff.

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

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

Etymologies

From French escarpement. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To make it more spectacular the escarpment is sliced by multiple canyons and valleys that plummet abruptly to the semi-desert African plane thousands of feet below.

    Family reunion in Addis! « Cameroon

  • Farther inland, every sandstone and limestone escarpment is the color of bone.

    Pakistan’s Fatal Shore

  • Toniná, at seven levels up against that escarpment, is the highest construction among all ancient Maya cities and a spectacular sight.

    Intensive Spanish on the Collectivo

  • The lowlands below the escarpment are a complex of Carboniferous/Permian metamorphic and sedimentary rocks (slate, phyllite, sandstone and conglomerate).

    Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, Australia

  • The escarpment was a jumbled blanket of gray stone outcrops and grass dried almost white by the heat of Furnace Sky.

    Spirit Gate

  • -- This mountain is dominated by a bedrock escarpment, that is not inaccessible, but difficult to reach; it seems to be entirely composed of fossil shellfish contained in blackish coarse marble.

    Theory of the Earth~ Part 1 (historical)

  • The escarpment is a 650-mile rock formation that arcs from Niagara Falls in New York to the Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin.

    The Fond du Lac Reporter Latest Headlines

  • There is a remarkable “forest” of cedars along the Niagara escarpment which is essentially a cliff that goes for 600 km.

    Roll Over, Preisendorfer « Climate Audit

  • It straddles the escarpment which is the major watershed between Namaqualand in the west, and Bushmanland in the east.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • “The great Thinker Marmel believed that the escarpment is a sheet of the world sliding over another sheet — the one we’re sitting on.

    Voice of the Gods

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