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[kan-yuh n] /ˈkæn yən/
a deep valley with steep sides, often with a stream flowing through it.
Also, cañon.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for canyons
  • There were many similar, although smaller, villages and little clusters of houses among the cliffs of this tangle of canyons.
  • Over the years his birthday gifts have sent him parasailing, on hot air balloons rides, and zip-lining through canyons.
  • But it quickly returned with the subsequent discoveries of giant mountains, deep canyons and complex weather patterns.
  • Crews then trek through remote canyons to check on the sick or dead condor and run tests on it and the carrion it was eating.
  • Much of the landscape consists of leaping sandstone cliffs and deep canyons.
  • The canyons have been set aside as a nature preserve, and some of the trails at midday are heavily traveled.
  • In the canyons between ridgelines the forest is mostly pine and eucalyptus, both introduced species.
  • From your campsite, spot steep-walled canyons and crimson-colored rocks.
  • The steep crevices and canyons between the hoodoos capture water, which erodes the landscape further.
  • canyons cutting back into the mountains expose fantastic cross sections of this preserved depositional system.
British Dictionary definitions for canyons


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 canyons



"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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canyons 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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