can·​yon | \ ˈkan-yən How to pronounce canyon (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of canyon

1 : a deep narrow valley with steep sides and often with a stream flowing through it
2 : something resembling a canyon the city's concrete canyons

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Synonyms for canyon


col, couloir, defile, flume, gap, gill [British], gorge, gulch, gulf, kloof [South African], linn [chiefly Scottish], notch, pass, ravine, saddle

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Examples of canyon in a Sentence

as the scouts made their way through the canyon, they marveled at the sheer walls of rock on both sides

Recent Examples on the Web

The park's canyon is open daily from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. between October and July (see summer hours here) and there is a small fee to enter. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "What to Do on Your Next Trip to Palm Springs," 5 Mar. 2019 New York City, with its traffic, noise and canyons formed by skyscrapers, seems an odd place to see farm animals, but they are regularly shipped in to small storefront slaughterhouses in the outer boroughs. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Escape From New York: Slaughterhouse Refugees Have a Country Place," 1 Oct. 2018 Sugar maples may be the stars of the show in the East, but in Arizona and beyond, aspens take center stage, supported by cottonwoods, canyon maple and ash. Catharine Hamm,, "A leaf-peeping trip to Arizona? Color yourself smart. The Grand Canyon state can be grand for fall hues," 2 July 2018 Take the canyon under the sea off Nazaré in Portugal. Paul Theroux, Smithsonian, "The Epic Quest to Ride the World’s Biggest Wave," 27 June 2018 The ride down the canyon leads to campgrounds, trailheads, Devils Postpile National Monument and Red’s Meadow (7,500 feet). Tom Stienstra,, "Trails, camps, lakes open for summer in Land of Muir," 17 June 2018 What's more, the canyons could play a crucial role in the continent's shifting future. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Three Giant Antarctic Valleys Found Hidden Under Ice," 25 May 2018 The canyon spans a section of the border between the Mexican states of Querétaro and Hidalgo. Harrison Takoff, Smithsonian, "Why You Can Walk Into a Store and Buy a Nearly Extinct Animal," 2 Apr. 2018 The crater lake, for example, is surrounded by dramatic canyon-like gulches, the result of erosion from rainfall. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "A Young Island in the South Pacific Oozes Mysteries and Mud," 5 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'canyon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of canyon

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for canyon

American Spanish cañón, probably alteration of obsolete Spanish callón, augmentative of calle street, from Latin callis footpath

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Statistics for canyon

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for canyon

The first known use of canyon was in 1834

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More Definitions for canyon



English Language Learners Definition of canyon

: a deep valley with steep rock sides and often a stream or river flowing through it


can·​yon | \ ˈkan-yən\

Kids Definition of canyon

: a deep valley with steep sides and often a stream flowing through it

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More from Merriam-Webster on canyon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with canyon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for canyon

Spanish Central: Translation of canyon

Nglish: Translation of canyon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canyon for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about canyon

Comments on canyon

What made you want to look up canyon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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