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’
    • ‘The steep hills and valleys also offer superb rivers for white-water rafting.’
    • ‘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 have rooms at the Crescent, overlooking a river valley.’
    • ‘Through the trees I could see the far side of a narrow wooded valley.’
    • ‘Viticulture is most extensive in the Rhine and Mosel valleys in west Germany and is an important export industry.’
    • ‘We did a broad round route this afternoon up all the surrounding hills crossing the valley floor a couple of times.’
    • ‘They were in a deep valley completely surrounded by mountains.’
    • ‘His direction took him up a hill beside a steep, narrow, wooded valley.’
    • ‘The topography is stunning, all steep-sided wooded valleys and strategically planted game crops.’
    • ‘It is a land of mountains, moorland and hill pasture, with steep river valleys and cliffs.’
    • ‘The cool breeze that wafts across the lush green valley is as smooth as silk.’
    • ‘The country's only airport occupies a significant portion of the level valley bottom.’
    • ‘Did I realise that the little valleys of that region are so verdant because it rains every day?’
    • ‘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 coastal plain is low and broad, with areas of sand between the marshy river valleys.’
    • ‘Mountains, valleys, and rivers provide memorable scenery for tourists.’
    • ‘It has such beautiful farmland, mountains, valleys, and rivers that one-fifth of the country is designated as national parkland.’
    • ‘But areas of high rainfall and narrow river valleys are also ideal for hydro-electric power generation.’
    • ‘They saw the lights revolving and knew they were flying in a deep valley surrounded by mountains.’
    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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Roof outlets, valleys, gutters and overflows need to be inspected and cleaned twice each year, once in the autumn and once in the spring.’


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