ra·​vine rə-ˈvēn How to pronounce ravine (audio)
: a small narrow steep-sided valley that is larger than a gully and smaller than a canyon and that is usually worn by running water

Examples of ravine in a Sentence

he urged his horse down into the ravine where there was a thin stream of water flowing
Recent Examples on the Web In November 1943, after the Red Army recaptured Kyiv, Soviet authorities began to fill in the ravine with liquid waste from nearby brick plants. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Nov. 2023 Ernest would go on to be part of a plot hatched by Hale that resulted in the deaths of several members of her family, including her sisters Anna and Reta: Anna was shot to death and dumped in a ravine; Reta, along with her husband, died when their home was bombed. Liam Quinn, Peoplemag, 12 Oct. 2023 Video of the rescue shows firefighters bringing the driver up the ravine and to safety, according to the department's Instagram. Brian Brant, Peoplemag, 4 Sep. 2023 Now, post-COVID, Insta-celebrity has reached into the wooded ravines of rugged Shasta County. Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2023 In 2017, 10 people died after a cable car fell hundreds of feet into a ravine in the mountain resort of Murree. Francisco Guzman, USA TODAY, 23 Aug. 2023 Aviation Two Alaskans, a pilot and a hunter, are presumed dead after their plane crashed in a narrow ravine in the southwest preserve area of Denali National Park and Preserve this week, National Park Service officials said Saturday. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Aug. 2023 The force of the crash sent the motorcycle into a ravine. Caleb Lunetta, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Nov. 2023 An American man is facing multiple charges, including murder, after allegedly attacking two women and pushing them into a German ravine, resulting in one's death. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 26 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ravine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French, "torrrent of water, gully formed by running water," going back to Middle French, "torrent of water," derivative of raviner "to run quickly, flow forcefully (of blood, water)," derivative of Old French ravine "violent force, momentum," going back to Latin rapīna "forcible carrying off of property, seizure and carrying off of a woman" — more at rapine

Note: See note at ravin.

First Known Use

1687, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ravine was in 1687

Dictionary Entries Near ravine

Cite this Entry

“Ravine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ravine. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ra·​vine rə-ˈvēn How to pronounce ravine (audio)
: a small narrow valley with steep sides that is larger than a gully and smaller than a canyon

More from Merriam-Webster on ravine

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