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  1. a deep, narrow ravine, especially one marking the course of a stream or torrent.
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Origin of gulch

1825–35; compare British dialect gulch, gulsh to run with a full stream, gush, (of land) to sink in, Middle English gulchen to spew forth, gush; expressive word akin to gulp, gush, etc.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for gulch


  1. US and Canadian a narrow ravine cut by a fast stream
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Word Origin

C19: of obscure 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

Word Origin and History for gulch


"deep ravine," 1832, American English, perhaps from obsolete or dialectal verb gulsh "sink in" (of land), "gush out" (of water), from Middle English gulchen "to gush forth; to drink greedily" (c.1200). Cf. gulche-cuppe "a greedy drinker" (mid-13c.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper