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[buh-rang-kuh; Spanish bahr-rahng-kah] /bəˈræŋ kə; Spanish bɑrˈrɑŋ kɑ/
noun, plural barrancas
[buh-rang-kuh z; Spanish bahr-rahng-kahs] /bəˈræŋ kəz; Spanish bɑrˈrɑŋ kɑs/ (Show IPA)
a steep-walled ravine or gorge.
a gully with steep sides; arroyo.
Origin of barranca
1685-95; < Spanish, variant of barranco, of obscure, probably pre-Latin orig. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for barranca
Historical Examples
  • They approached across the high plains, making straight for the entrance to this barranca.

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • The next question that arose was, how I was to get across the barranca.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • All at once a loud noise was heard, and the bottom of the barranca was illumined by a number of torches.

    The Freebooters Gustave Aimard
  • It had been done in that terrible leap upon the rocky bed of the barranca.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • At sundown we reached the head of the barranca del Oro, a vast cleft that traversed the plain leading down to the deserted mine.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • And he pointed to the flying enemy on the other side of the barranca.

    The Rifle Rangers Captain Mayne Reid
  • It was born and bred in the barranca, otherwise it would never have been able to accomplish this feat.

  • This was, no doubt, a channel by which the stream escaped from the barranca.

    The Desert Home Mayne Reid
  • In a short while she rose to her feet again, and rushed back toward the barranca.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Then with that calmness usual to him the hunter advanced to the edge of the barranca.

    The Trapper's Daughter Gustave Aimard
British Dictionary definitions for barranca


noun (pl) -cas, -cos
(Southwestern US) a ravine or precipice
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish, of uncertain origin
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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