a narrow steep-sided valley commonly eroded by running water.

Origin of ravine

1400–50; late Middle English < Middle French: torrent, Old French: a violent rushing; see raven2
Related formsra·vine·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ravine

Contemporary Examples of ravine

Historical Examples of ravine

  • Andrew walked squarely out into the middle of the ravine and waited.

  • He mastered it, and galloped with a heavy heart up the ravine and to the house of Pop.

  • Taking his horse, he and Andrew rode at a walk up the ravine.

  • Without waiting to plan, I began to climb down the steep side of the ravine.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • We left our ponies in the ravine and wriggled through the long grass.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

British Dictionary definitions for ravine



a deep narrow steep-sided valley, esp one formed by the action of running water

Word Origin for ravine

C15: from Old French: torrent, from Latin rapīna robbery, influenced by Latin rapidus rapid, both from rapere to snatch
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 ravine

1760, "deep gorge," from French ravin "a gully" (1680s, from Old French raviner "to pillage, sweep down, cascade"), and from French ravine "violent rush of water, gully worn by a torrent," from Old French ravine "violent rush of water, waterfall; avalanche; robbery, rapine," both ultimately from Latin rapina "act of robbery, plundering" (see rapine); sense influenced by Latin rapidus "rapid." Middle English ravine meant "booty, plunder, robbery" from c.1350-1500. Cf. ravening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper