• synonyms


noun, plural gul·lies. Also gulley (for defs 1, 2).
  1. a small valley or ravine originally worn away by running water and serving as a drainageway after prolonged heavy rains.
  2. a ditch or gutter.
  3. Cricket.
    1. the position of a fielder between point and slips.
    2. the fielder occupying this position.
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verb (used with object), gul·lied, gul·ly·ing.
  1. to make gullies in.
  2. to form (channels) by the action of water.
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Origin of gully1

1530–40; apparently variant of gullet, with -y replacing French -et



or gul·ley

[guhl-ee, goo l-ee]
noun, plural gul·lies. Scot. and North England.
  1. a knife, especially a large kitchen or butcher knife.
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Origin of gully2

First recorded in 1575–85; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for gullies



noun plural -lies or -leys
  1. a channel or small valley, esp one cut by heavy rainwater
  2. NZ a small bush-clad valley
  3. a deep, wide fissure between two buttresses in a mountain face, sometimes containing a stream or scree
  4. cricket
    1. a fielding position between the slips and point
    2. a fielder in this position
  5. either of the two channels at the side of a tenpin bowling lane
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verb -lies, -lying or -lied
  1. (tr) to make (channels) in (the ground, sand, etc)
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Word Origin

C16: from French goulet neck of a bottle; see gullet


noun plural -lies
  1. Scot a large knife, such as a butcher's knife
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Word Origin

C16: 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 gullies



"channel made by running water," 1650s, possibly a variant of Middle English golet "water channel" (see gullet). Gully-washer, American English colloquial for "heavy rainstorm," attested by 1887.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gullies in Science


  1. A narrow, steep-sided channel formed in loose earth by running water. A gully is usually dry except after periods of heavy rainfall or after the melting of snow or ice.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.