noun, plural val·leys.

Origin of valley

1250–1300; Middle English valeie, valey < Old French valee, equivalent to val vale1 + -ee < Latin -āta, feminine of -ātus -ate1
Related formsval·ley·like, adjectivein·ter·val·ley, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for valley

Contemporary Examples of valley

Historical Examples of valley

  • Looking around him, he at length, from the edge of the valley, descried Robert.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • There was not enough food in the valley for both the old inhabitants and the newcomers.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • The battle was disastrous for the Egyptians and the valley of the Nile was open to the invaders.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • In an instant he was in his saddle and spurring down the valley.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Nothing was left her in the valley but the shadow, and the last weapon, All-prayer.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for valley



a long depression in the land surface, usually containing a river, formed by erosion or by movements in the earth's crust
the broad area drained by a single river systemthe Thames valley
any elongated depression resembling a valley
the junction of a roof slope with another or with a wall
(modifier) relating to or proceeding by way of a valleya valley railway

Word Origin for valley

C13: from Old French valee, from Latin vallis
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 valley

late 13c., from Anglo-Norman valey, Old French valee "a valley," from Vulgar Latin *vallata, from Latin vallis "valley," of unknown origin. Valley Girl (in reference to San Fernando Valley of California) was popularized 1982 in song by Frank Zappa and his daughter. Valley of Death was anglicized in Middle English as Helldale (mid-13c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

valley in Science



A long, narrow region of low land between ranges of mountains, hills, or other high areas, often having a river or stream running along the bottom. Valleys are most commonly formed through the erosion of land by rivers or glaciers. They also form where large regions of land are lowered because of geological faults.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.