noun \ˈva-lē\

: an area of low land between hills or mountains

: a low period, point, or level

plural valleys

Full Definition of VALLEY

a :  an elongate depression of the earth's surface usually between ranges of hills or mountains
b :  an area drained by a river and its tributaries
:  a low point or condition
a :  hollow, depression
b :  the place of meeting of two slopes of a roof that form on the plan a reentrant angle

Examples of VALLEY

  1. <the valley will be the first to flood if the river rises>

Origin of VALLEY

Middle English valeye, from Anglo-French valee, from val valley — more at vale
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to VALLEY

dale, dene [British], hollow, vale

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Elongate depression of the Earth's surface. Valleys are commonly drained by rivers and may be in a relatively flat plain or between ranges of hills or mountains. Valleys formed by rivers and slope denudation are typically V-shaped; those formerly occupied by glaciers are characteristically U-shaped. Valley evolution is controlled mainly by climate and rock type. Very narrow, deep valleys cut in resistant rock and having steep, almost vertical sides are called canyons. Smaller valleys of similar appearance are called gorges.


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