\ˈgəlch \

Definition of gulch 

: a deep or precipitous cleft : ravine especially : one occupied by a torrent

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for gulch


canyon (also cañon), col, couloir, defile, flume, gap, gill [British], gorge, gulf, kloof [South African], linn [chiefly Scottish], notch, pass, ravine, saddle

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of gulch in a Sentence

the gulch floods in the spring with the runoff from the mountains, so wait until later in the summer to hike it

Recent Examples on the Web

Eddy Sánchez, director of the seismic institute, said Monday some inhabitants had been slow to evacuate in part because rivers and gulches around the volcano were swollen with rain. Anthony Harrup And, WSJ, "Guatemala Searches for Missing After Deadly Volcano Eruption," 4 June 2018 Following an hours-long search that Wednesday in March 1986, authorities discovered Michella’s body in a gulch not far from the playground. Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, "A 12-year-old’s murder went unsolved for decades. Police just used a napkin to find a suspect.," 26 June 2018 Her body was found later that night in a nearby gulch. King-tv, USA TODAY, "DNA on napkin leads to charges in 32-year-old cold case," 23 June 2018 Her body was found in a gulch after police conducted a search. Maggie Wilson, ajc, "Police make arrest in 1986 child murder," 22 June 2018 Nestled on the flanks of the extremely active volcano, the village was square in the path of a gulch that channeled the downhill flow of fast-moving hot rock, ash and debris when the mountain erupted Sunday, burying homes up to their rooftops. Mark Stevenson, Fox News, "Guatemala town destroyed by volcano thought it was safe," 8 June 2018 Locals said any ash flows normally would travel down a deeper gulch, called Las Lajas, just to the north. Mark Stevenson, Fox News, "Guatemala town destroyed by volcano thought it was safe," 8 June 2018 Kathleen Williamson is a singer-songwriter, lawyer, and old friend of Lee’s, dating from the days when Williamson lived in the gulch in Jerome and was known as the Goat Lady, delivering milk from her herd on the back of a donkey. Brett Martin, Outside Online, "Katie Lee, Our Lady of Glen Canyon," 24 May 2018 That one was more hidden, in a nearby freight-railway gulch, while the newer camps have thrust more drug activity into public view. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Wracked by Opioid Crisis, Philadelphia Braces for Tent-Camp Closures," 26 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of gulch

1832, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gulch

perhaps from English dialect gulch to gulp, from Middle English gulchen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gulch

Dictionary Entries near gulch








Statistics for gulch

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gulch

The first known use of gulch was in 1832

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gulch



English Language Learners Definition of gulch

: a small, narrow valley with steep sides


\ˈgəlch \

Kids Definition of gulch

: a small narrow valley with steep sides

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on gulch

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


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!