or ca·ñon

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Origin of canyon

1835–45, Americanism; < American Spanish, Spanish cañón a long tube, a hollow, equivalent to cañ(a) tube (< Latin canna cane) + -on augmentative suffix

Synonyms for canyon

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[kan-yuh n]
  1. a town in N Texas. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for canyon

ravine, valley, gully, gorge, glen, gulch, coulee

Examples from the Web for canyon

Contemporary Examples of canyon

Historical Examples of canyon

  • Between its Babel towers narrow Nassau Street was like a canyon.

  • Linda slid down the side of the canyon with the deftness of the expert.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • And it's just about ready to start for its very own cave in the canyon.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • When they approached the entrance to the canyon, gradually Linda slowed down.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • "I can show you where she followed me, straight up the face of the canyon, almost," she said.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

British Dictionary definitions for canyon



  1. a gorge or ravine, esp in North America, usually formed by the down-cutting of a river in a dry area where there is insufficient rainfall to erode the sides of the valley

Word Origin for canyon

C19: from Spanish cañón, from caña tube, from Latin canna cane
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

Word Origin and History for canyon

"narrow valley between cliffs," 1834, from Mexican Spanish cañon, extended sense of Spanish cañon "a pipe, tube; deep hollow, gorge," augmentative of cano "a tube," from Latin canna "reed" (see cane (n.)). But earlier spelling callon (1560s) might suggest a source in calle "street."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

canyon in Science


  1. A long, deep, narrow valley with steep cliff walls, cut into the Earth by running water and often having a stream at the bottom.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.