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Aug 13, 2010
This week's theme
Glacial landforms

This week's words
drumlin
moraine
esker
fjord
cirque

Cirque de Gavarnie, France
Cirque de Gavarnie, France
Photo: Jean-Christophe Benoist

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

cirque

PRONUNCIATION:
(suhrk)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A bowl-shaped semicircular mountain basin carved by glacial erosion. Also called cwm.
2. A ring; a circle.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via French from Latin circus (circle). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sker- (to turn or bend) which is also the source of other words such as ranch, rank, shrink, circle, crisp, search, ring, curb, ridge, curve, and circa.

USAGE:
"In the Snowies, cirques only occur on sheltered mountain faces where the snow first fell and slowly compacted into glacial ice."
Peter Veness; Australia: Peak-Time Perfection Just Across the Ditch; The New Zealand Herald (Auckland); Feb 22, 2009.

See more usage examples of cirque in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The World is divided into armed camps ready to commit genocide just because we can't agree on whose fairy tales to believe. -Ed Krebs, photographer (b. 1951)

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