Pronunciation: (av'u-lanch", -länch"), [key]
—n., v., -lanched, -lanch•ing.
1. a large mass of snow, ice, etc., detached from a mountain slope and sliding or falling suddenly downward.
2. anything like an avalanche in suddenness and overwhelming quantity: an avalanche of misfortunes; an avalanche of fan mail.
3. Also called Townsend avalanche. Physics, Chem.a cumulative ionization process in which the ions and electrons of one generation undergo collisions that produce a greater number of ions and electrons in succeeding generations.
to come down in, or like, an avalanche.
to overwhelm with an extremely large amount of anything; swamp.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.