Definition of firn in English:



mass noun
  • Crystalline or granular snow, especially on the upper part of a glacier, where it has not yet been compressed into ice.

    ‘About a quarter of that shrinkage, or 7 cm, may have resulted from snow packing down into denser material called firn, says Andrew Shepherd, a glaciologist at the University of Cambridge in England.’
    ‘Combine such dense firn with a daily rhythm of freeze and thaw, and spring avalanche danger is easy to predict and avoid.’


Mid 19th century from German, from Old High German firni ‘old’; related to Swedish forn ‘former’.