Definition of scarp in English:

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Pronunciation: /skärp/


1A very steep bank or slope; an escarpment.
Example sentences
  • The slopes are very steep in places, forming scarps.
  • On the long, steep scarp between the iron age hillfort above and ploughed fields below are white signs carved into the turf.
  • In this arid climate evaporites form; alluvial fans lie at the base of footwall scarps and carbonate reefs grow.
1.1The inner wall of a ditch in a fortification. Compare with counterscarp.
Example sentences
  • More than 300 meters in diameter, Qala-i Jangi was of the style known as Vaubanian - built with moats, ramparts, scarps and counterscarps and parapets.
  • Additional mines were used to destroy the palisades of the covered passage and the supporting walls of the counterscarp or scarp, thus facilitating entry into the fortress.
  • The look-out openings on the parapet and even the gun-holes that honeycomb the scarp, serve as ventilators.


[with object]
1Cut or erode (a slope or hillside) so that it becomes steep, perpendicular, or precipitous.
Example sentences
  • A scarped windward slope is the aspect most characteristic of coastal dunes.
  • The picturesque old town, situated on the summit of a scarped hill, lies northwest of Reims and northeast of Paris.
1.1Provide (a ditch in a fortification) with a steep scarp and counterscarp.
Example sentences
  • Outside this second circuit the natural slope has again been scarped to create a steep fall of about 10 m., at the bottom of which is a third, rather less substantial, rampart.


Late 16th century (with reference to fortification): from Italian scarpa.

Words that rhyme with scarp

Arp, carp, harp, sharp, tarp

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: scarp

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