- A large mass or body of snow and ice sliding swiftly down a mountain side, or falling down a precipice.
- A fall of earth, rocks, etc., similar to that of an avalanche of snow or ice.
- A sudden, great, or irresistible descent or influx of anything.
Etymology: F. avalanche, fr. avaler to descend, to let down, from aval down, downward; � (L. ad) + val, L. vallis, valley. See Valley