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Definition of Snowpiercer

Translated from English it literally means “perforador de nieve” and is interpreted as “snowbreaker”. In that sense, it is any instrument made to break snow, especially to move despite it.

Noun that designates an existing train in an imaginary post-apocalyptic world in which everything is covered in snow, receives this name because it is the only means of transport and is alive in the middle of the snow.


The word snowpiercer is a compound word derived from the English terms snow and piercerSuccessively mean “nieve” and “perforador” which would be “snow borer”. It is any element that is made to break the snow allowing mobility.

This word has been used almost exclusively in art, especially designating a train that is part of literature and some important films. However, its use may be more widespread and not directly linked to them.


Snowpiercer turns out to be a word created especially for a train used to survive a world destroyed by a new ice age in the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette.

The Snowpiercer movie was directed by Bong Joon-ho, recognized for his film Parasite. It was released in 2013 and the production is based on the French comic with some variations.

In May 2020, “Snowpiercer” was released, an American television series premiered on TNT and Netflix. It is not a simple adaptation of the previous works, but rather, it incorporates new elements in line with a greater development of the characters.