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[guhl-ee] /ˈgʌl i/
noun, plural gullies. Also, gulley (for defs 1, 2).
a small valley or ravine originally worn away by running water and serving as a drainageway after prolonged heavy rains.
a ditch or gutter.
  1. the position of a fielder between point and slips.
  2. the fielder occupying this position.
verb (used with object), gullied, gullying.
to make gullies in.
to form (channels) by the action of water.
Origin of gully1
1530-40; apparently variant of gullet, with -y replacing French -et
1. gulch, gorge, defile, watercourse.


or gulley

[guhl-ee, goo l-ee] /ˈgʌl i, ˈgʊl i/
noun, plural gullies. Scot. and North England.
a knife, especially a large kitchen or butcher knife.
First recorded in 1575-85; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gullies
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But there were other pitch holes that any intelligent New Yorker would call ravines or gullies.

    On Canada's Frontier Julian Ralph
  • It may be seen, frequently, in the ravines and gullies, and in the points of bluffs.

  • The slopes were completely covered with little furrows and gullies where the rainwater had done its work.

    Conservation Reader Harold W. Fairbanks
  • They might be waiting now at the mouth of any of these gullies.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Most of the fire was high and whizzed over into the gullies, but many hundreds of all those thousands of bullets hit the parapet.

    The Secret Battle A. P. Herbert
  • The gullies are steep and narrow: the heat settles on them like a curse.

  • I think if he threatened some folks up hyeh an' in the gullies thar might be trouble.

    The Boy With the U.S. Census Francis Rolt-Wheeler
  • They were taken in the gullies that were cut for watering the meadows.

  • The marten travels mostly in the gullies and depressions on the mountains and hills.

    Science of Trapping Elmer Harry Kreps
British Dictionary definitions for gullies


noun (pl) -lies, -leys
a channel or small valley, esp one cut by heavy rainwater
(NZ) a small bush-clad valley
a deep, wide fissure between two buttresses in a mountain face, sometimes containing a stream or scree
  1. a fielding position between the slips and point
  2. a fielder in this position
either of the two channels at the side of a tenpin bowling lane
verb -lies, -lying, -lied
(transitive) to make (channels) in (the ground, sand, etc)
Word Origin
C16: from French goulet neck of a bottle; see gullet


noun (pl) -lies
(Scot) a large knife, such as a butcher's knife
Word Origin
C16: of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gullies



"channel made by running water," 1650s, possibly a variant of Middle English golet "water channel" (see gullet). Gully-washer, American English colloquial for "heavy rainstorm," attested by 1887.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gullies in Science
A narrow, steep-sided channel formed in loose earth by running water. A gully is usually dry except after periods of heavy rainfall or after the melting of snow or ice.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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