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[ruh-veen] /rəˈvin/
a narrow steep-sided valley commonly eroded by running water.
Origin of ravine
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle French: torrent, Old French: a violent rushing; see raven2
Related forms
raviney, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ravine
  • The botanists forged through a thicket and crossed a rocky ravine bed.
  • Below me snakes a dusty ravine studded with old olive trees.
  • There must be an out-of-sight mountain river or ravine pushing or pulling the water.
  • If the train doesn't stop, it may plunge into a ravine.
  • At one point a faint shadow glides over the bottom, then vanishes into a dark ravine.
  • Don't show my character throwing a knife into a wolf's face before jumping over a ravine on a glowing white horse.
  • His comrades tie him up to drag him off to a hospital, but he breaks away and throws himself into a ravine.
  • Kittiwake colony in a narrow ravine with steep cliffs.
  • Above this tableau, at the lip of the ravine, a bulldozer idles.
  • In a ravine she went where a spring was silently flowing through a hollow log.
British Dictionary definitions for ravine


a deep narrow steep-sided valley, esp one formed by the action of running water
Word Origin
C15: from Old French: torrent, from Latin rapīna robbery, influenced by Latin rapidusrapid, both from rapere to snatch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ravine

1760, "deep gorge," from French ravin "a gully" (1680s, from Old French raviner "to pillage, sweep down, cascade"), and from French ravine "violent rush of water, gully worn by a torrent," from Old French ravine "violent rush of water, waterfall; avalanche; robbery, rapine," both ultimately from Latin rapina "act of robbery, plundering" (see rapine); sense influenced by Latin rapidus "rapid." Middle English ravine meant "booty, plunder, robbery" from c.1350-1500. Cf. ravening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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