Definition of gulch in English:



North American
  • A narrow and steep-sided ravine marking the course of a fast stream.

    • ‘Timber on the mountainsides here grows in vertical stripes on the flanks between gulches where avalanches scour everything but the most flexible willows and young trees.’
    • ‘The main drag is a gulch - the town's original name was Deadwood Gulch - that was much widened during an 1870s gold rush into a classic gunfighter main street lined with gambling saloons.’
    • ‘The day of the fire the thermometer reached a record ninety-seven degrees in Helena; it surely topped that in the narrow confines of the gulch about twenty-five miles to the north.’
    • ‘Painters settled along the Arroyo Seco, the picturesque gulch on the city's west side.’
    • ‘After a while, we crossed a dry gulch, Horse Creek, and turned off into a patch of Grasslands the Forest Service proposes to keep roadless.’
    • ‘We walked on until we had a commanding view of the upper gulch and the crosses strung out in a long line.’
    • ‘The town of Deadwood is cradled in a narrow gulch between pine-covered bluffs in the Black Hills of South Dakota.’
    • ‘To be sure, there were times when lynch mobs operated in isolated mining camps, in out-of-the-way gulches, or on sparsely-settled ranchlands.’
    • ‘Other locations are the dark forests, deep gulches, old mines, bunkers and medieval strongholds.’
    • ‘Whiling away an afternoon at the beach, a vacation spent exploring creeks and gulches, or even an hour spent climbing a tree, teaches a child about his or her place in the world.’
    • ‘Gold seekers, speculators, freighters, merchants, and stockmen flooded the valleys, gulches, and creeks near the Continental Divide.’
    • ‘The axis was revolving to show gorse gullies, rocky gulches and biscuit-coloured eroded clay crusts.’
    • ‘Alder Gulch, discovered in May 1863, rendered prodigious amounts of placer gold-arguably the most ever extracted from a single gulch.’
    • ‘Panning gold in the gulches, poaching deer and other game, rounding up wild horses and mules for the packing plant, growing vegetables, cutting firewood, and bootlegging whiskey-all were honorable occupations during such hard times.’
    • ‘The irregular houses were like the broken exteriors of cliffs lining deep gulches and winding streams.’
    • ‘And it's entirely possible somebody dropped a cigarette at the bottom of the gulch here.’
    • ‘Here was that infamous swath of dry terrain that encompasses both prairie flats and jagged gulches as it stretches through the westernmost reaches of Nebraska and the Dakotas.’
    • ‘An impressive mill was built on the lower slope of the mountain near the foot of the gulch.’
    • ‘Hordes of ladybugs which commonly swarm along gulches of the Falls Trail in winter are not yet evident.’
    gorge, abyss, canyon, ravine, gully, gulf, pass, defile, couloir, crevasse, cleft, rift, rent
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Mid 19th century: perhaps from dialect gulch ‘to swallow’.