[ grah-buh n ]
/ ˈgrɑ bən /


a portion of the earth's crust, bounded on at least two sides by faults, that has dropped downward in relation to adjacent portions.
Compare horst.

Origin of graben

1895–1900; < German: ditch
Also called rift valley. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for graben

British Dictionary definitions for graben

/ (ˈɡrɑːbən) /


an elongated trough of land produced by subsidence of the earth's crust between two faults

Word Origin for graben

C19: from German, from Old High German graban to dig
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

Scientific definitions for graben

[ gräbən ]

A usually elongated block of rock that is bounded by parallel geologic faults along its two longest sides, and has a lower elevation than the rock at its sides. Grabens form where rock is being pulled apart by tectonic forces. The East African Rift Valley is a graben.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.