[ guhl-ee ]
See synonyms for gully on
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.

  1. Cricket.

    • the position of a fielder between point and slips.

    • the fielder occupying this position.

verb (used with object),gul·lied, gul·ly·ing.
  1. to make gullies in.

  2. to form (channels) by the action of water.

  1. Slang. of or relating to the environment, culture, or life experience in poor urban neighborhoods; vulgar, raw, or authentic; ghetto: Does your mama know what you’re up to on these gully street corners all night?Keepin’ it gully, for real!

Origin of gully

First recorded in 1530–40; apparently a variant of gullet, with -y replacing French -et

Other words for gully

Words Nearby gully

Other definitions for gully (2 of 2)


or gul·ley

[ guhl-ee, gool-ee ]

noun,plural gul·lies.Scot. and North England.
  1. a knife, especially a large kitchen or butcher knife.

Origin of gully

First recorded in 1575–85; origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gully in a sentence

  • In 2000, Cogswell helped found The gully, an online lesbian magazine, which closed six years later.

  • gully Wells shares recollections of growing up with her mother, stepfather, and their famous inner circle.

    This Week’s Hot Reads | The Daily Beast | July 6, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Judge then of my surprise when I rode up out of the water-washed gully and found them nowhere in sight.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • It was perched high above the sidewalk, for the street but a few years since was a gully, and the grading had deepened it.

    Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
  • Thousands of Turks in a bunch, so the boys say, swarmed out of their trenches and the gully Ravine.

  • One of the horses was hobbled, and they were all eating hungrily the grass that grew along the gully's sides.

    Cabin Fever | B. M. Bower
  • A few pines were sprinkled about the slopes of the gully, and one or two of them which had fallen lay athwart the creek.

    The Gold Trail | Harold Bindloss

British Dictionary definitions for gully (1 of 2)



/ (ˈɡʌlɪ) /

nounplural -lies or -leys
  1. a channel or small valley, esp one cut by heavy rainwater

  2. NZ a small bush-clad valley

  1. a deep, wide fissure between two buttresses in a mountain face, sometimes containing a stream or scree

  2. cricket

    • a fielding position between the slips and point

    • a fielder in this position

  3. either of the two channels at the side of a tenpin bowling lane

verb-lies, -lying or -lied
  1. (tr) to make (channels) in (the ground, sand, etc)

Origin of gully

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

British Dictionary definitions for gully (2 of 2)


/ (ˈɡʌlɪ) /

nounplural -lies
  1. Scot a large knife, such as a butcher's knife

Origin of gully

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

Scientific definitions for gully


[ gŭlē ]

  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.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.