from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A nearly vertical cavity in a glacier through which meltwater from the surface drops into tunnels that are within or beneath the ice.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A nearly vertical shaft or cavity worn in a glacier by the running down of water, which sometimes in the hot days of summer, on the large glaciers, forms considerable rivulets on the surface of the ice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun geology A cylindrical, vertical shaft that extends through a glacier and is carved by meltwater from the glacier’s surface.


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

[French, mill, moulin, from Old French molin, mill, from Late Latin molīnum; see mill.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French moulin, from Late Latin molinum ("mill").


  • The shop, which takes its name from the fact that it is housed in a 113-year-old former mill (moulin is French for mill) is easy to spot. -

  • COOPER: Well, we climbed into that depression, called a moulin, to get a look at how water is carving deep holes into the ice and how that's affecting the entire ice sheet.

    CNN Transcript Nov 8, 2007

  • Somewhat below the junction Tyndall and Hirst sounded a moulin, that is, a cavity through which the surface glacier waters escape, to a depth of 160 feet; the guides alleged that they had sounded a similar aperture to a depth of 350 feet, and had found no bottom.

    Ice and Glaciers

  • Incredibly, this vertical shaft - called a moulin (French for mill) - manages to swallow this entire river into oblivion, the water plunging a third of a mile towards the base of the icecap.

    Home | Mail Online

  • If we don't climb into a moulin soon, we will run out of time.

    Into the Heart of the Ice

  • Stumble into a moulin, and even a person who survives the fall could become a human cork, wedged into a constriction.

    Into the Heart of the Ice

  • Lisanne Aerts A moulin forms when water finds a crack in a glacier.

    Taking on a Glacier

  • To the right, I see a dark spot—another moulin, this one dry.

    Into the Heart of the Ice

  • The gear will, in theory, allow me to navigate across glacial ice and climb the moulin walls.

    Into the Heart of the Ice

  • Of all the things that can go wrong on a glacier, falling into a moulin is among the worst.

    Into the Heart of the Ice


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  • A narrow, chute or crevasse through which water enters a glacier from the surface. The lower end of a moulin may sometimes be exposed in the face of a glacier or at the edge of a stagnant block of ice. Also called glacier mill.

    November 18, 2008