a small, narrow, secluded valley.

Origin of glen

1480–90; < Irish, Scots Gaelic gleann; cognate with Welsh glynn
Related formsglen·like, adjective




a male or female given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for glen

dale, dell, glade, canyon, gorge, vale, combe

Examples from the Web for glen

Contemporary Examples of glen

Historical Examples of glen

  • Sabbath or no Sabbath, the Glen cannot let him pass without some tribute of their pride.

  • Before long they reached a sort of glen, at the bottom of which was a winding river.

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • There were three men sleeping in the glen, and the face of one was plainly to be seen.

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton

  • There is a river famous for trout that rises in Sulby glen and flows into Ramsey harbour.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • They could hear the jolting of the laden cart on its way down the glen.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for glen



a narrow and deep mountain valley, esp in Scotland or Ireland
Derived Formsglenlike, adjective

Word Origin for glen

C15: from Scottish Gaelic gleann, from Old Irish glend
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 glen

"narrow valley," late 15c., from Scottish, from Gaelic gleann "mountain valley" (cf. Old Irish glenn, Welsh glyn). Common in place names; cf. Glenlivet (1822), a kind of whiskey, named for the place it was first made (literally "the glen of the Livet," a tributary of the Avon); and Glengarry (1841) a kind of men's cap, of Highland origin, named for a valley in Inverness-shire.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper