avalanche

Listen:
 /ˈævəˌlɑːntʃ/



WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
av•a•lanche /ˈævəˌlæntʃ/USA pronunciation   n. 
    [countable]
  1. Geologya large mass of snow, ice, etc., that comes loose from a mountain slope and slides or falls suddenly downward.
  2. anything like an avalanche in suddenness and volume: received an avalanche of fan mail.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
av•a•lanche  (avə lanch′, -länch′),USA pronunciation n., v.,  -lanched, -lanch•ing. 
n. 
  1. a large mass of snow, ice, etc., detached from a mountain slope and sliding or falling suddenly downward.
  2. anything like an avalanche in suddenness and overwhelming quantity:an avalanche of misfortunes; an avalanche of fan mail.
  3. PhysicsAlso called  Townsend avalanche. a cumulative ionization process in which the ions and electrons of one generation undergo collisions that produce a greater number of ions and electrons in succeeding generations.

v.i. 
  1. to come down in, or like, an avalanche.

v.t. 
  1. to overwhelm with an extremely large amount of anything;
    swamp.
  • pre-Latin (perh. Ligurian) *lavanca, or reshaping of Late Latin labīna landslide (derivative of Latin labī to slide) with a pre-Latin suffix -anca
  • dialect, dialectal (Savoy) avalantse, alteration (by association with avaler to descend rapidly) of laventse
  • French
  • 1755–65


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

avalanche /ˈævəˌlɑːntʃ/ n
  1. a fall of large masses of snow and ice down a mountain
  2. a fall of rocks, sand, etc
  3. a sudden or overwhelming appearance of a large quantity of things
vb
  1. to come down overwhelmingly (upon)
Etymology: 18th Century: from French, by mistaken division from la valanche, from valanche, from (northwestern Alps) dialect lavantse; related to Old Provençal lavanca, of obscure origin



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