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[kan-yuh n] /ˈkæn yən/
a deep valley with steep sides, often with a stream flowing through it.
Also, cañon.
Origin of canyon
1835-45, Americanism; < American Spanish, Spanish cañón a long tube, a hollow, equivalent to cañ(a) tube (< Latin canna cane) + -on augmentative suffix
gorge, gully, ravine, pass, gap, arroyo, coulee.


[kan-yuh n] /ˈkæn yən/
a town in N Texas. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for canyon
  • It is mostly deeply inhospitable brush and canyon country.
  • But everywhere you see the water's work: canyon mazes, unbroken scarps, sandstone pillars.
  • No matter how many times you've seen it, visiting the canyon never fails to take your breath away.
  • Views are of the canyon and eagles fishing for steelhead in the river below.
  • For years the steep canyon garden played host to weeds.
  • Flagstone skirting a simple columnar fountain gives the impression of a path winding through a canyon.
  • The weight of those sands pushed the canyon floor down further, creating its extreme depth.
  • Saguaros crowd the slopes and huge boulders fill the canyon bottom, where a seasonal stream runs.
  • Urban climatologists are working to predict how canyon design can affect temperatures, winds, and the concentration of pollutants.
  • Go hover your mouse over the rim of that first crater on the canyon wall.
British Dictionary definitions for canyon


a gorge or ravine, esp in North America, usually formed by the down-cutting of a river in a dry area where there is insufficient rainfall to erode the sides of the valley
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish cañón, from caña tube, from Latin canna cane
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 canyon

"narrow valley between cliffs," 1834, from Mexican Spanish cañon, extended sense of Spanish cañon "a pipe, tube; deep hollow, gorge," augmentative of cano "a tube," from Latin canna "reed" (see cane (n.)). But earlier spelling callon (1560s) might suggest a source in calle "street."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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canyon in Science
A long, deep, narrow valley with steep cliff walls, cut into the Earth by running water and often having a stream at the bottom.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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