avalanche (n.)

"fall or slide of a mass of snow on a mountain slope," 1763, from French avalanche (17c.), from Romansch (Swiss) avalantze "descent," altered (by metathesis of -l- and -v-, probably influenced by Old French avaler "to descend, go down," avalage "descent, waterfall, avalanche") from Savoy dialect lavantse, from Provençal lavanca "avalanche," perhaps from a pre-Latin Alpine language (the suffix -anca suggests Ligurian). Extended to falls of rock, landslides. As a verb, from 1872.

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Definitions of avalanche from WordNet
avalanche (n.)
a slide of large masses of snow and ice and mud down a mountain;
avalanche (n.)
a sudden appearance of an overwhelming number of things;
the program brought an avalanche of mail
avalanche (v.)
gather into a huge mass and roll down a mountain, of snow;
Synonyms: roll down