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

Most of the eastern half is made up of steep mountains and deep canyons. Wade Graham, Smithsonian, "Why Molokai, With All Its Wonders, Is the Least Developed of Hawai’i’s Islands," 31 Aug. 2019 Navajo leaders and families fought the government, but in the end, many had their animals confiscated and sold, slaughtered or herded off canyon cliffs to their deaths. Betty Reid, azcentral, "To Chester Nez, last of the original Code Talkers, the words are more than a code," 29 Aug. 2019 This undated photo provided by Loren Davis in August 2019 shows an overview of the Cooper’s Ferry canyon in western Idaho. Washington Post, "Idaho artifacts suggest Pacific entry for first Americans," 29 Aug. 2019 The group had been exploring a canyon along the north fork of the Virgin River when around 0.63 inches of rain fell in around an hour, it was reported at the time. NBC News, "3 hurt in rockfall at Utah's Zion National Park," 27 Aug. 2019 Clad in concrete and stained wood, the architectural abode sits on half an acre with commanding canyon views. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Nick Jonas quietly unloads Beverly Hills showplace for $6.91 million," 26 Aug. 2019 In 2010, the National Park Service installed railings along the canyon because of the popularity of the location for plane-watching. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Navy pilot dead after crash in “Star Wars Canyon” in Death Valley [Updated]," 2 Aug. 2019 With its collage-like framework, the series wonderfully interrogates the canyons and summits of black womanhood. Wired, "A Black Lady Sketch Show," 2 Aug. 2019 The canyon is used by several air bases in California and Nevada, which include Nellis Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Lemoore, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, and Fresno Air National Guard Base. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "F/A-18E Fighter Jet Crashes in 'Star Wars Canyon,' Injuring Seven," 31 July 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

2 Sep 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).


concealment of treason or felony

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