Meaning of AVALANCHE in English


I. ˈa-və-ˌlanch noun

Etymology: French, from French dialect (Franco-Provençal) lavantse, avalantse

Date: 1771

1. : a large mass of snow, ice, earth, rock, or other material in swift motion down a mountainside or over a precipice

2. : a sudden great or overwhelming rush or accumulation of something

office workers tied down with an avalanche of paperwork

3. : a cumulative process in which photons or accelerated charge carriers produce additional photons or charge carriers through collisions (as with gas molecules)

II. verb

( -lanched ; -lanch·ing )

Date: 1855

intransitive verb

: to descend in an avalanche

transitive verb

: overwhelm , flood

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.