• WordNet 3.6
    • v avalanche gather into a huge mass and roll down a mountain, of snow
    • n avalanche a sudden appearance of an overwhelming number of things "the program brought an avalanche of mail"
    • n avalanche a slide of large masses of snow and ice and mud down a mountain
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Avalanche A fall of earth, rocks, etc., similar to that of an avalanche of snow or ice.
    • Avalanche A large mass or body of snow and ice sliding swiftly down a mountain side, or falling down a precipice.
    • Avalanche A sudden, great, or irresistible descent or influx of anything.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n avalanche The fall or sliding down of a mass of snow or ice from a mountain-slope. The sliding down of ordinary snow is, in high snow-covered mountains, an event of frequent occurrence, and is generally not dangerous or destructive, since it mostly takes place high above habitations and forests. Partly consolidated snow, or névé however, is sometimes set in motion in large quantities, and such an occurrence may be productive of very serious injury, especially to the forests below. Small glaciers sometimes detach themselves from their rocky beds and fall into the valley below; such events are rare, but have sometimes been attended by very disastrous results. The more terrible catastrophes which have occurred, and by which, especially in the Alps, whole villages have been buried, have been due to the sliding down of a portion of the rock itself of which the mountain was formed. These “rock-avalanches,” as they are sometimes called, are more properly denominated land-slips or land-slides. See landslip, land-slide.
    • n avalanche Hence—2. Anything resembling an avalanche in suddenness and destructiveness: as, an avalanche of misfortunes.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Avalanche av′al-ansh a mass of snow and ice sliding down from a mountain: a snow-slip
    • v.t Avalanche (Spens.) to cause to descend
    • ***


  • Stanislaw J. Lec
    Stanislaw J. Lec
    “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. avalanche, fr. avaler, to descend, to let down, from aval, down, downward; (L. ad,) + val, L. vallis, valley. See Valley


In literature:

Mounted on a good horse, one might hope to ride clear of the advancing avalanche of hoofs and horns.
"The Outdoor Chums After Big Game" by Captain Quincy Allen
And perched on the side of the hill the Briars found itself in a perfect avalanche of blossoms.
"Rose of Old Harpeth" by Maria Thompson Daviess
Misfortunes seemed now to be falling like an avalanche upon Poland.
"The Empire of Russia" by John S. C. Abbott
Snow avalanches like the one which has destroyed the wing of the monastery are of frequent occurrence there.
"The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 20, March 25, 1897" by Various
Over the last declivity it leaps, hissing, foaming, crashing like an avalanche.
"The Lancashire Witches" by William Harrison Ainsworth
But it was not until the forty-ninth ballot that they started the avalanche.
"Stephen A. Douglas" by Allen Johnson
Who could stand against this world-wide avalanche?
"Children of the Market Place" by Edgar Lee Masters
His feet commenced to slide; against his will he went avalanching and cavorting down the path.
"Christmas Outside of Eden" by Coningsby Dawson
I told how Steele rebounded from his weakness and could no more have been stopped than an avalanche.
"The Rustlers of Pecos County" by Zane Grey
In an avalanche people went down the stairs.
"T. De Witt Talmage" by T. De Witt Talmage

In poetry:

But following a mountain gulch,
Avalanche and slide,
I only found a dark ravine
Where tall waters ride.
"Blind Alley " by Norman MacLeod
O bird with heart of wassail,
That toss the Bacchic branch,
And slip your shaken music,
An elfin avalanche;
"A Question" by Francis Thompson
Where far along the desart air
Is heard no creature's call:
And undisturbing mortal ear
The avalanches fall:
"Hymn Written Among The Alps" by Helen Maria Williams
And let the eagle and the crow
Find shelter in his branches,
When winds shake down his winter snow
In silver avalanches.
"The Wood Giant" by John Greenleaf Whittier
From mountains old and hoary,
First Liberty came down;
Like the avalanche her footfall,
Like the thunder-cloud her frown.
"The March Of Freedom" by Ernest Jones
The snow-clad mountain terror--
The fearful avalanche--
Whose thunders are heard in valleys
Where imploring faces blanch;
"The Desirable Undefined" by Jared Barhite

In news:

An avalanche warning has been issued for Kananaskis Country due to high winds and snowfall in the area.
Montreal Canadiens at Colorado Avalanche .
Five Questions with Lubbock Avalanche -Journal beat writer Nick Kosmider.
BRP is once again bringing avalanche awareness courses to snowmobilers throughout North America in the fall of 2012.
Avalanche center looking to grow.
Avalanche kills climbers at Nepal peak.
At least 11 climbers were killed in an avalanche Sunday morning on Manaslu, the world's eighth-highest peak, a pilot who took part in the rescue effort said.
The avalanche , which took place Sunday at about 5 am local time, was likely caused by a huge piece of ice that fell from a glacier above the camp, Trommsdorff said.
With the recent snowfalls, backcountry avalanches are already a threat this season in Summit County, Diegel said.
Economic avalanche can't keep skiers away from slopes.
Avalanche 's Joe Sakic inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame.
Two of the fatal avalanches happened in California, including one near Lake Tahoe in March that killed 29-year-old Olympic Valley resident Benjamin Brackett.
An average of four people — they may be skiers, snowboarders or snowmobilers — die in Wasatch Mountain avalanches each year.
People are almost never killed in slides that aren't triggered by humans, and virtually all human-caused avalanches can be avoided with proper training.
3 skiers partially buried by avalanche in Montana.

In science:

For smaller system sizes L < Lb one could study “avalanche”-like behavior, i.e. the sizes of the areas that get turned with the magnetic field (see ).
Susceptibility and Percolation in 2D Random Field Ising Magnets
But, there is a diffusion effect which is able to cause an avalanche of disconnections.
Self-Organized Critical Random Boolean Networks
In order to characterize the avalanches, we have measured two different variables: the time T needed for the net to reach a stationary state and the total number of disconnections B during T .
Self-Organized Critical Random Boolean Networks
Log-log histogram for the sizes of the avalanches B . B is the number of disconnections for each perturbation and S (B ) is the histogram.
Self-Organized Critical Random Boolean Networks
There are strong computational restrictions for working with bigger RBN because the size of the avalanches is limited by the number of RBN automata.
Self-Organized Critical Random Boolean Networks