Definition of canyon in English:



  • A deep gorge, typically one with a river flowing through it, as found in North America.

    in place names ‘the Grand Canyon’
    • ‘Crops were withering, cattle were dying, and the river that once sculpted canyons was a trickle.’
    • ‘There is no place as mysterious or haunting as the canyons and valleys of the American Southwest.’
    • ‘Towering bridges crossed creeks, ravines and canyons, while down below huge waves swept across rocks and deserted beaches.’
    • ‘She could barely see the outline of a river winding lazily through the canyon.’
    • ‘While on the subject of canyons, there are some really spectacular underwater canyons off Great Dog Island to the west of Tortola.’
    • ‘Three fascinating cultures converge in the red rock canyons of Mesa Verde.’
    • ‘It's a hard battle though because when you're at the bottom of a vast canyon looking up, it seems a hell of a climb to the top.’
    • ‘We're utilizing the helicopters in some of the rough area to get into those deep, steep canyons.’
    • ‘The trip passes by waterfalls, forests, canyons, valleys, sinkholes and caves.’
    • ‘We've all seen earlier images of the Mars surface, which showed valleys and canyons.’
    • ‘Oak woodland develops best in moist, protected canyons and valleys with deep alluvial soils.’
    • ‘The photography group go south again for the day, sheltered from the westerly wind to dive a maze of deep, narrow canyons.’
    • ‘The coastline is varied, dramatic and rugged, cut with caves, gullies, canyons and sheer cliffs.’
    • ‘The canyon opened into vast boulder fields, where the river sometimes disappeared in the distance.’
    • ‘Outlanders often refuse to believe that Texas even has canyons or mountains, but this range is no mirage.’
    • ‘The helicopter then descended into the bottom of the canyon and landed on one side of the Colorado River.’
    • ‘Before long, more prospectors arrived and followed the gold trail up the canyons to the west of the river.’
    • ‘The book was an argument for preventing further dams in the Colorado River canyons.’
    • ‘The trip in March 2005 includes five days and nights in the Sierra del Escambray mountains and treks through limestone canyons.’
    • ‘Camping and fishing are available down in the Pecos River canyon or you can hike up on the mesa.’
    ravine, gorge, gully, pass, defile, couloir
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: from Spanish cañón ‘tube’, based on Latin canna ‘reed, cane’.