Definition of alpine in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈalˌpīn/


[usually attributive]
1Relating to high mountains: alpine and subalpine habitats
More example sentences
  • The hikers start in tropical rainforest territory and travel through moorlands, alpine meadows and glaciers on the summit.
  • Plant communities thrive there, from ribbons of riparian plants to sagebrush fiats, lodgepole pine forests, subalpine meadows and alpine stone fields.
  • They inhabit every terrestrial ecosystem on earth, from rainforest canopies to alpine mountains, from lakes and rivers to hot dry deserts.
1.1 (Alpine) Relating to the Alps: the major Alpine ski venues
More example sentences
  • At first sight, it is your standard-issue Alpine hotel: built on old cattle pasture and still run by the family that owned the cows.
  • But all seemed normal in the picture-postcard Alpine village of 3117 people.
  • The gas would be piped in from the Alpine oil and gas field, eight miles north of the Inupiat village of about 450 people.
1.2 (also Alpine) (Of skiing) involving downhill racing: an alpine ski team
More example sentences
  • Events include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and alpine downhill racing at the Sunshine Village, one of the most exclusive areas of Banff in the Canadian Rockies.
  • The Alpine Trekker is simply a dummy ski-boot sole that you clip into your alpine ski binding.
  • This was a hoot, since the exam was given on an alpine hill that I skied on with my long, skinny, wooden skis.


1A plant native to mountain districts, often suitable for growing in rock gardens.
Example sentences
  • The four acre garden provides a decorative home for many interesting and unusual plants including a large rock garden with rare alpines, colourful herbaceous borders, rhododendrons and a choice collection of tress and shrubs.
  • Believe it or not, although I have gardened for years on a property that contains plants from fruit trees through small alpines, I do not own a pressure sprayer.
  • Trough gardens are ideal places to display tiny horticultural treasures: dwarf conifers, alpines, miniature succulents, and other precious little plants.
2A North American butterfly that typically has brownish-black wings with orange-red markings.
  • Genus Erebia, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae: several species.
Example sentences
  • An increasing amount of forests along ridgetops in the front ranges of the Canadian Rocky Mountains is reducing the ability of some alpine butterflies to disperse among patches of suitable habitat.
  • Here we use mark-recapture methods to estimate movement of the alpine butterfly through both meadow and forest habitats
  • Here we use mark-recapture methods to estimate movement of the alpine butterfly through both meadow and forest habitats


Late Middle English: from Latin Alpinus, from Alpes 'Alps' (see Alps).

Words that rhyme with alpine


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: al·pine

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.