[buh-rang-kuh; Spanish bahr-rahng-kah]

noun, plural bar·ran·cas [buh-rang-kuh z; Spanish bahr-rahng-kahs] /bəˈræŋ kəz; Spanish bɑrˈrɑŋ kɑs/.

a steep-walled ravine or gorge.
a gully with steep sides; arroyo.

Origin of barranca

1685–95; < Spanish, variant of barranco, of obscure, probably pre-Latin orig. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for barranca

Historical Examples of barranca

  • This was, no doubt, a channel by which the stream escaped from the barranca.

    The Desert Home

    Mayne Reid

  • These were placed conspicuously in front, upon the very brow of the barranca.

  • As soon as day broke they remounted, and continued on along the edge of the barranca.

    The Boy Hunters

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • The next question that arose was, how I was to get across the barranca.

    The War Trail

    Mayne Reid

  • It had been done in that terrible leap upon the rocky bed of the barranca.

    The War Trail

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for barranca


barranco (bəˈræŋkəʊ)

noun plural -cas or -cos

Southwestern US a ravine or precipice

Word Origin for barranca

C19: from Spanish, of uncertain 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