AskDefine | Define monadnock

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A hill or mountain standing isolated above a predominately flat plain.
    • 1901, Philip Emerson, Notes on the New England Upland about the White Mountains, in Appalachia, vol. IX, p57
      Eastward from the White Mountains, the open sea of the upland country comes right to the monadnock shore, with hardly an outlying island; southward the upland is covered for miles by an archipelago of monadnock groups and peaks.


Extensive Definition

This article is about the generic geologic term. For all other uses, see Monadnock (disambiguation)
Kopje and Koppie redirect here. Or you may be wanting the word "copy".
A monadnock or inselberg is an isolated hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. In southern and southern-central Africa, a similar formation of granite is known as a kopje from the Afrikaans word: koppie. In fact the word koppie is itself frequently employed in written South African English.
Monadnock is an originally Native American term for an isolated hill or a lone mountain that has risen above the surrounding area, typically by surviving erosion. The name was taken from Mount Monadnock in southwestern New Hampshire (USA), in Jaffrey. The name is thought to derive from the Abenaki language, from either menonadenak ("smooth mountain") or menadena ("isolated mountain").
The word inselberg is German for "island mountain"; the name was originally coined to describe the abundant such features found in southern Africa. The term monadnock is more usually used in the US.


Volcanic or other processes may give rise to a body of rock resistant to erosion, inside a body of softer rock such as limestone which is more susceptible to erosion. When the less resistant rock is eroded away to form a plain, the more resistant rock is left behind as an isolated mountain. If the monadnock is dome-shaped and formed from granite-gneiss, it can also be called a bornhardt.

Examples of monadnocks

Notable monadnocks include:


  • Roger Brunet (dir.), Les mots de la géographie, Paris, Reclus-La Documentation française, 1993, ISBN 2110030364, article «monadnock», page 335.

See also

monadnock in German: Inselberg
monadnock in Spanish: Cerro testigo
monadnock in French: Inselberg
monadnock in Polish: Ostaniec
monadnock in Portuguese: Inselberg
monadnock in Slovenian: Osamelec
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1