Definition of valley in English:



  • 1A low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it:

    [in place names] ‘the Thames Valley’
    [as modifier] ‘the valley floor’
    • ‘They met on a grassy hill overlooking a valley on one side and an ocean on the other.’
    • ‘Between these towns, farmers who had been recruited by seigneurial landowners filled the fertile river valley lands.’
    • ‘They were in a deep valley completely surrounded by mountains.’
    • ‘His direction took him up a hill beside a steep, narrow, wooded valley.’
    • ‘They saw the lights revolving and knew they were flying in a deep valley surrounded by mountains.’
    • ‘The topography is stunning, all steep-sided wooded valleys and strategically planted game crops.’
    • ‘The steep hills and valleys also offer superb rivers for white-water rafting.’
    • ‘They have rooms at the Crescent, overlooking a river valley.’
    • ‘Through the trees I could see the far side of a narrow wooded valley.’
    • ‘It has such beautiful farmland, mountains, valleys, and rivers that one-fifth of the country is designated as national parkland.’
    • ‘It is a land of mountains, moorland and hill pasture, with steep river valleys and cliffs.’
    • ‘Mountains, valleys, and rivers provide memorable scenery for tourists.’
    • ‘Have you ever admired those pictures of trampers walking through beautiful forest, or standing on a mountain top gazing over valleys or glaciers, and wished it were you?’
    • ‘The country's only airport occupies a significant portion of the level valley bottom.’
    • ‘Viticulture is most extensive in the Rhine and Mosel valleys in west Germany and is an important export industry.’
    • ‘The cool breeze that wafts across the lush green valley is as smooth as silk.’
    • ‘The coastal plain is low and broad, with areas of sand between the marshy river valleys.’
    • ‘But areas of high rainfall and narrow river valleys are also ideal for hydro-electric power generation.’
    • ‘We did a broad round route this afternoon up all the surrounding hills crossing the valley floor a couple of times.’
    • ‘Did I realise that the little valleys of that region are so verdant because it rains every day?’
    dale, vale
    hollow, depression, hole, basin, gully, gorge, pass, ravine, canyon, rift, gap
    combe, slade, dene
    glen, strath
    dell, dingle
    View synonyms
  • 2Architecture
    An internal angle formed by the intersecting planes of a roof, or by the slope of a roof and a wall.

    • ‘As to the roof and the use of closed valleys, this is contrary to good building practice.’
    • ‘Roof outlets, valleys, gutters and overflows need to be inspected and cleaned twice each year, once in the autumn and once in the spring.’
    • ‘One of the valleys in the church roof needs repairs immediately.’
    • ‘The second task in the restoration project is the re-leading of the roof valleys, also to prevent dampness.’
    • ‘Check flashings at valleys, chimneys, dormers, vent pipes, and other roofing protrusions.’


Middle English: from Old French valee, based on Latin vallis, valles; compare with vale.