a large mass of snow, ice, etc., detached from a mountain slope and sliding or falling suddenly downward.
anything like an avalanche in suddenness and overwhelming quantity:
an avalanche of misfortunes; an avalanche of fan mail.
Also called Townsend avalanche. Physics, Chemistry. 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.
to come down in, or like, an avalanche.
to overwhelm with an extremely large amount of anything; swamp.
And sure enough, right there on the D&G runway was an avalanche of color and patterns and good times.
Milan Fashion Week’s Malaise Robin Givhan September 22, 2011
They had a son named Nima, but Lopsang was soon swallowed by an avalanche on the Lhotse Face.
Breaking Mount Everest’s Glass Ceiling Amanda Padoan, Peter Zuckerman March 29, 2014
The WWTW team was ‘narrowly missed’ by an avalanche, and missed two rockfalls by ‘no more than three minutes’.
Patron Harry to Feature in Walking With Wounded Doc Tom Sykes June 12, 2012
The avalanche continues with “CNN: Gingrich admits his ABC claim was false during debate.”
Drudge’s Anti-Newt Assault Howard Kurtz January 25, 2012
The union finally fell apart under an avalanche of publicity worthy of an Us magazine cover.
‘Love Letters’ Anthologizes 2,000 Years of Passion Put to Paper Sarah Stodola February 10, 2012
A fair-sized landslide, indeed an avalanche, thundered down.
The Story of Geronimo James Arthur Kjelgaard
Dorcas had no dreams so happy that such an avalanche could not sweep them aside.
Meadow Grass Alice Brown
Before I could reach a safety zone, however, I was caught in the outer edge of the avalanche and whirled along for some distance.
Girl Scouts in the Rockies Lillian Elizabeth Roy
Fandor was too stunned by the avalanche of incidents to move.
A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
But they were too late, she ended with a pathetic sigh, for the avalanche was upon them before they reached it.
The Liberty Girl Rena I. Halsey
a fall of large masses of snow and ice down a mountain
a fall of rocks, sand, etc
a sudden or overwhelming appearance of a large quantity of things: an avalanche of letters
(physics) a group of ions or electrons produced by a single ion or electron as a result of a collision with some other form of matter
to come down overwhelmingly (upon)
1763, from French avalanche (17c.), from Romansch (Swiss) avalantze “descent,” altered (by metathesis of -l- and -v-, probably influenced by Old French avaler “to descend, go down”) from Savoy dialect lavantse, from Provençal lavanca “avalanche,” perhaps from a pre-Latin Alpine language (the suffix -anca suggests Ligurian). As a verb, from 1872.
The sudden fall or slide of a large mass of material down the side of a mountain. Avalanches may contain snow, ice, rock, soil, or a mixture of these materials. Avalanches can be triggered by changes in temperature, by sound vibrations, or by vibrations in the earth itself.
A process resulting in the production of large numbers of ionized particles, in which electrons or ions collide with molecules, with each collision itself producing an additional electron or ion that in turn collides with other molecules. Avalanches are what generate the pulses of electric current that are registered by Geiger counters.
- Avalanche lily
either of two plants, Erythronium grandiflorum or E. montanum, of the lily family, of the mountains of northwestern North America, having nodding yellow or white flowers. Historical Examples The most noticeable and abundant flower on all slopes is the avalanche lily (erythronium montanum). The Mountain that was ‘God’ John H. Williams
- Avalanche wind
the wind that is created in front of an avalanche.
an island, represented as an earthly paradise in the western seas, to which King Arthur and other heroes were carried at death. Contemporary Examples In The Fall of Arthur, when Tolkien writes of Avalon, he means that same elvish island. Tolkien’s Unfinished Epic: ‘The Fall of Arthur’ John Garth May 22, 2013 Historical Examples And […]
a male Bodhisattva, widely revered and identified with various persons and gods. Historical Examples For example, the power of Avalokitesvara was separated from his protecting care and providence. The Religions of Japan William Elliot Griffis Probably it refers to the legendary birth of their chief saint, Avalokitesvara, who is said to have been born of […]