val·ley | \ ˈva-lē \
plural valleys

Definition of valley 

1a : an elongate depression of the earth's surface usually between ranges of hills or mountains

b : an area drained by a river and its tributaries

2 : a low point or condition

3a : hollow, depression

b : the place of meeting of two slopes of a roof that form on the plan a reentrant angle

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Synonyms for valley


dale, hollow, vale

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Examples of valley in a Sentence

the valley will be the first to flood if the river rises

Recent Examples on the Web

Some travelers stayed away in the aftermath of the fires, but the valley was soon back on its feet, flaunting a more dynamic and fashionable face than ever. New York Times, "36 Hours in Napa Valley," 21 June 2018 The Hoh River valley in Washington's Olympic National Park is a strange and beautiful place. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "Olympic National Park Is Home to the Quietest Spot in the Continental U.S.," 11 June 2018 The inland valleys should be the picture of consistency, too. Robert Krier,, "Pleasant weather, little June gloom expected for next week," 7 June 2018 The valley, covered in sagebrush and greasewood, is part of Modoc County, one of California’s poorest, with a median income of about $30,000. Washington Post, "Outsiders Swoop In Vowing To Rescue Rural Hospitals Short On Hope — And Money," 6 June 2018 The other valley, called Patuxent Trough, is nearly 200 miles long and 9 miles wide. Kristine Phillips,, "Vast mountain ranges and valleys discovered at south pole," 26 May 2018 Chance of showers throughout Saturday will hover around 20 percent with a high of 73 degrees and a low of 55 in the valley. Eder Campuzano,, "Portland Saturday weather: Mild temps, chance of rain for Cinco de Mayo," 5 May 2018 The peaks aren't as high and the valleys aren't as low. Josh Dubow, The Christian Science Monitor, "Former NFL player Chris Borland helps athletes and veterans adjust to retirement," 20 Apr. 2018 The island's central valley has been the hub of past ranching operations dating back to the mid-1800s. Fox News, "Wildfire burns on island off coast of Southern California," 28 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valley.' 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 valley

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for valley

Middle English valeye, borrowed from Anglo-French valee (early Old French valede), from val "valley" + -ee, noun suffix (here with augmentative force), going back to Latin -āta, feminine of -ātus -ate entry 1 — more at vale

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Phrases Related to valley

peaks and valleys

Statistics for valley

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for valley

The first known use of valley was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for valley



English Language Learners Definition of valley

: an area of low land between hills or mountains

: a low period, point, or level


val·ley | \ ˈva-lē \
plural valleys

Kids Definition of valley

: an area of lowland between ranges of hills or mountains

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Comments on valley

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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