can·​yon | \ˈkan-yən \
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

Damage assessments were continuing, with crews having to gain access to canyon areas on foot. Amanda Lee Myers, The Seattle Times, "Southern California wildfire roars to life in wilderness," 13 Nov. 2018 The serpentine slitherings of the river are canyons in the concrete, deep here, wide there, oxbowing and bifurcating and braiding. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 These segments—tracking wildlife through harsh conditions or taking a trip through the canyons for some herbs—were the highlights of my attempt to live a similarly simple digital life through RDR II. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Red Dead Redemption II review: Getting muddy in the wide-open frontier," 25 Oct. 2018 Arthur Powell Davis, head of the Bureau, had been looking for years for a way to turn the Colorado into a hydroelectric energy, including dynamiting the surrounding canyons. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Hoover Dam Changed America—And It Might Do It Again," 27 July 2018 Posts on social media showed muddy water roaring through the canyon that is prone to flooding. Washington Post, "Flooding forces 200 evacuations near Grand Canyon waterfalls," 12 July 2018 The caption accompanies a photo of Moorthy sitting on the edge of the canyon’s North Rim. Jocelyn Gecker, The Seattle Times, "Indian couple who died in Yosemite took risks for photos," 31 Oct. 2018 There are rivers, canyons, mesas, and mountains to explore, as well as some 22 up-and-coming wineries in one of the country’s most exciting yet unknown wine regions. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "Beyond Napa: 7 Emerging American Wine Regions to Visit Now," 29 Aug. 2018 The group nurtured dreams of politicians who cared and dreamed of kicking the BIE out of the canyon. Alden Woods, azcentral, "In the Grand Canyon, Havasupai parents want to regain control over failing school," 10 July 2018

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

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 enclose within walls

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