[ ruh-veen ]
/ rəˈvin /


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

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British Dictionary definitions for ravine


/ (rəˈviːn) /


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