Definition of gorge in English:



  • 1A narrow valley between hills or mountains, typically with steep rocky walls and a stream running through it.

    • ‘They chased him down the mountain and into the gorge where he disappeared and the miners couldn't follow.’
    • ‘Once on the ground, it's the constant sound of water that strikes you: streams whisper and waterfalls roar, a soft rush echoes from mountain gorges, and forest leaves drip with life.’
    • ‘It was our first sight of wide open space, with nothing but mountains and huge gorges on the horizon.’
    • ‘After a night there, we headed on up into the hills, winding our way up the narrow gorge of the river valley.’
    • ‘The same can happen an hour or so outside Sydney, in the Blue Mountains, where trekkers into the valleys and gorges often don't come back.’
    • ‘Climbing down deep-throated gorges and up awe-inspiring mountains had David Denison marvelling at early road pioneers’
    • ‘This train spirals up a steep mountain gorge, climbing 2,800 ft in 40 minutes.’
    • ‘Over geological time these small streams will inevitably eat away the whole mountain side and the gorges will probably collapse in on themselves, but don't hold your breath waiting for it.’
    • ‘Rivers such as the Dudh Kosi and Bhote Kosi have carved deep gorges into the mountains, leaving a complex terrain of steep ridges and narrow valleys.’
    • ‘They walked through the shadow of the gorge, the steep overhanging walls closed in on them, and there was a sense of impending evil about them.’
    • ‘This is rugged country, broken, steep hills, narrow valleys plunging to streams flowing through deep gorges, all covered in bush and mud.’
    • ‘The towering cliffs originate on the ocean's floor and ascend from the water to create amazing gorges created by waterfalls streaming down over centuries and eroding the stone.’
    • ‘The road will bring trade, and better access to health care and the outside world, to the villages strung along the banks of the Panjsher River as it courses through steep gorges and ravines from the Hindu Kush mountains.’
    • ‘The obstacles created by the highlands, valleys, and gorges found in the mountain regions fostered strong cultural and linguistic differences.’
    • ‘Their great pale grey slopes are breached all along the coast by a number of steep, rocky gorges with towering vertical walls.’
    • ‘The hour-long flight takes in both sections of the Gregory National Park and passes over luxuriant river valleys, yawning gorges, rocky ravines and a chain of magnificent flattop sandstone mesas.’
    • ‘Trails probe the cool inner sanctums of 18 sandstone-walled canyons, where you'll find steep gorges and waterfalls plunging from cliffs.’
    • ‘Now in the little space that is left, in steep valleys and gorges, the Kurinji bushes are battling for survival, like many other life forms of the area.’
    • ‘If the track that approaches it from the east was anything to go by, it occupied a near invincible state of isolation, protected by gorges, mountains and precipitous passes.’
    • ‘During the following days, we will cross green frozen steppes, sandy deserts, narrow gorges and canyons, and all the guises that mountains are apt to take.’
    ravine, canyon, gully, pass, defile, couloir, deep narrow valley
    chasm, abyss, gulf
    chine, bunny
    clough, gill, thrutch
    cleuch, heugh
    gulch, coulee, flume
    arroyo, barranca, quebrada
    nullah, khud
    sloot, kloof, donga
    View synonyms
  • 2archaic The throat.

    • ‘Sinking his teeth into her gorge, he grotesquely tore her throat out.’
    • ‘Still both not feeling 100%, Takuto coughing and with a hurting left knee and I with a sore gorge, we left Parral on a blue sky morning.’
    1. 2.1Sport
      The crop of a hawk.
      • ‘Of the roughage used for falcons in captivity, there are two kinds: plumage and cotton, the latter of which is generally in pellets about the size of hazelnuts, made of soft fine cotton, and conveyed into the hawk's gorge after supper.’
      • ‘They are afterwards ejected from the mouth in somewhat of an egg-shape, and cleanse the gorge.’
    2. 2.2The contents of the stomach.
      • ‘His throat fighting the gorge rising in his gullet, he slid off the bed and collapsed on the deck.’
      • ‘And all the way, most like a brutish beast, he spewed up his gorge, that all did him detest.’
      • ‘This makes me sick, rancid gorge fills my throat, but I swallow it down.’
  • 3A narrow rear entrance to a bastion, outwork, or other fortification.

    • ‘He then saw a group of soldiers pinned down at the entrance of the gorge.’
    • ‘Leaders of combat teams should know where to set up an ambush - on the roads and paths along cornices and gorges, on slopes forming entrances to gorges, in populated centers and so on.’
    • ‘First, waves of US planes dropped more than 40 bombs on their positions, concentrated in the gorge that provides entrance to the city.’
    • ‘From the Moulin de Cambelong a twisty road rises to the perfectly preserved medieval village of Conques, huddled on the edge of a gorge round the towering Romanesque cathedral church of Sainte-Foy.’
  • 4A mass of ice obstructing a narrow passage, especially a river.

    • ‘Like a gorge of ice in a river, once the first obstructing block breaks loose, the whole mass begins to move and the blockade is gone.’
    • ‘It is of record that fifty years ago an ice gorge formed near here.’


  • Eat a large amount greedily; fill oneself with food.

    ‘they gorged themselves on Cornish cream teas’
    • ‘It felt like I had just spent the last two hours gorging on gummy bears.’
    • ‘After gorging on a feast, don't hit the roads drunk and drowsy.’
    • ‘Instead, they will be too busy customising their character with hairstyles and tattoos, or getting fat by gorging on junk food.’
    • ‘After gorging ourselves on food and cake, his mother and I decided to explore a little further and went walking off down a windy track.’
    • ‘It is said that he once excluded all other foods, gorging only on broccoli prepared in the Apician manner for an entire month.’
    • ‘According to them the only drawback they'd encountered was that they had both gained 8 kilos gorging on Thai cuisine.’
    • ‘In fact individuals often become traffic casualties when flying too low after gorging on fruits.’
    • ‘Again, it goes back to social expectation - being able to gorge on food has now become a sort of unconsidered fashion.’
    • ‘She found that the cat had been gorging on the food I left out and that her stomach was completely distended.’
    • ‘In those days the North Sea was full of tunny - the giant tuna - that were in gorging on shoals of herring and mackerel.’
    • ‘So your waistline has expanded after all that Christmas gorging!’
    • ‘After gorging on the sumptuous buffet they all danced and sang to the sounds of the Caribbean / Filipino Band ‘Colours’.’
    • ‘Soon, both boys were gorging on buttery popcorn and the big-screen TV lit up the non-lighted room with flashing scenes.’
    • ‘You can gorge yourself on any amount of chocolate and not feel guilty.’
    • ‘After gorging on holiday goodies, sticking to your resolution to hit the gym is easier said than done.’
    • ‘Hours earlier, even as we were gorging the delicious food on offering in a beachfront restaurant, a suburban train had flashed past, ripping through the silence.’
    • ‘When there is a loss of habitat, the woodland caribou becomes a prime target for wolves that gorge on their plentiful prey.’
    • ‘Not only it is tasty, on a shoestring budget one can gorge on a variety of food.’
    • ‘I wasn't preaching to people who dedicated Thanksgiving Day to gorging on turkey and then crashing on the couch in front of a football game.’
    • ‘I half-expected to see Grace Adler walk up to the podium and complain about men while gorging on chocolate silk pie.’
    eat greedily, eat hungrily, guzzle, gobble, bolt, swallow hurriedly, devour, wolf, cram, binge-eat
    stuff, cram, fill
    View synonyms


  • one's gorge rises

    • One is sickened or disgusted.

      ‘the pork smelt rancid and his gorge rose’
      • ‘I don't know about you but my gorge rises when a TV personality who's made his bones with long ironic sighs and sideglances starts to speak phrases like ‘We need you to be honest!’’
      • ‘All, in a rumbling tone of ‘Then all I have to say is,’ returns Podsnap, putting the thing away with his right arm, ‘that my gorge rises against such a marriage - that it offends and disgusts me - that it makes me sick - and that I desire to know no more about it.’’
      • ‘God, just when I try to think of more to say about the show, my gorge rises and I can't imagine that any network concerned about the quality of programming, would have canceled it.’
      • ‘And yet my gorge rises at those fatuous journalists continually prating about this ‘Greatest War of all time,’ this ‘Great Drama,’ this ‘world catastrophe unparalleled in human history,’ because it is easy to see that they are really more thrilled than shocked by the immensity of the War.’
      • ‘He may have to swallow his gorge, but unlike that of so many I see in the libertarian and patriot movements, at least his gorge rises.’
      • ‘I can't help it, my gorge rises to overflowing every time I think about the unbelievably stupid mistakes our leaders made.’
      • ‘Before a few days are out, I figure the Nautilus will lie abreast of Nova Scotia, and from there to Newfoundland is the mouth of a large gulf, and the St. Lawrence empties into that gulf, and the St. Lawrence is my own river, the river running by Quebec, my hometown - and when I think about all this, my gorge rises and my hair stands on end!’
      • ‘The Austens were very much fringe types, and when Austen forces us to listen to a speech like that of Sir Thomas on his expectations of what a Fanny Price will probably be, and our gorge rises it is because Austen's gorge rises.’
      • ‘But the fellow is so blaringly (sorry, glaringly) mendacious and so sickeningly politically correct - in short, so palpably a 21st century man - that my gorge rises.’


Middle English (as a verb): from Old French gorger, from gorge throat, based on Latin gurges whirlpool. The noun originally meant ‘throat’ and is from Old French gorge; gorge dates from the mid 18th century.