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[ruh-veen] /rəˈvin/
a narrow steep-sided valley commonly eroded by running water.
Origin of ravine
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle French: torrent, Old French: a violent rushing; see raven2
Related forms
raviney, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ravine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He mastered it, and galloped with a heavy heart up the ravine and to the house of Pop.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Taking his horse, he and Andrew rode at a walk up the ravine.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Andrew walked squarely out into the middle of the ravine and waited.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Without waiting to plan, I began to climb down the steep side of the ravine.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • We left our ponies in the ravine and wriggled through the long grass.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
British Dictionary definitions for ravine


a deep narrow steep-sided valley, esp one formed by the action of running water
Word Origin
C15: from Old French: torrent, from Latin rapīna robbery, influenced by Latin rapidusrapid, both from rapere to snatch
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 ravine

1760, "deep gorge," from French ravin "a gully" (1680s, from Old French raviner "to pillage, sweep down, cascade"), and from French ravine "violent rush of water, gully worn by a torrent," from Old French ravine "violent rush of water, waterfall; avalanche; robbery, rapine," both ultimately from Latin rapina "act of robbery, plundering" (see rapine); sense influenced by Latin rapidus "rapid." Middle English ravine meant "booty, plunder, robbery" from c.1350-1500. Cf. ravening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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