One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A short valley or hollow on a hillside or coastline, especially in southern England.
valley, vale, daleView synonyms
- ‘It has 300 miles of exquisite coastline, the bleak beauty of Dartmoor, a chunk of unspoilt Exmoor, as well as its characteristic combes, vast hanging copses of oak and beech, and rugged, still-healthy rivers.’
- ‘The return route used a short section of the Ridgeway and then the footpath down a sheltered coombe and a short roam on newly mapped access land.’
- ‘On June 22 some 30 members visited a Tudor Manor with formal manorial garden set in a steep and secluded wooded coomb.’
- ‘There are several loops which take you down into the steep, thickly wooded ‘combes’ beneath the hills.’
- ‘It stands in a wooded coomb with a natural spring at its head.’
- 1.1Geology A dry valley in a limestone or chalk escarpment.
Old English cumb, occurring in charters in the names of places in southern England, many of which survive; of Celtic origin, related to cwm.
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