Love words? Sign up for our Word of the Day!
late 13c., from Anglo-Norman valey, Old French valee "a valley," from Vulgar Latin *vallata, from Latin vallis "valley," of unknown origin. Valley Girl (in reference to San Fernando Valley of California) was popularized 1982 in song by Frank Zappa and his daughter. Valley of Death was anglicized in Middle English as Helldale (mid-13c.).
A long, narrow region of low land between ranges of mountains, hills, or other high areas, often having a river or stream running along the bottom. Valleys are most commonly formed through the erosion of land by rivers or glaciers. They also form where large regions of land are lowered because of geological faults.
(1.) Heb. bik'ah, a "cleft" of the mountains (Deut. 8:7; 11:11; Ps. 104:8; Isa. 41:18); also a low plain bounded by mountains, as the plain of Lebanon at the foot of Hermon around the sources of the Jordan (Josh. 11:17; 12:7), and the valley of Megiddo (2 Chr. 35:22). (2.) 'Emek, "deep;" "a long, low plain" (Job 39:10, 21; Ps. 65:13; Cant. 2:1), such as the plain of Esdraelon; the "valley of giants" (Josh. 15:8), usually translated "valley of Rephaim" (2 Sam. 5:18); of Elah (1 Sam. 17:2), of Berachah (2 Chr. 20:26); the king's "dale" (Gen. 14:17); of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2, 12), of Achor (Josh. 7:24; Isa. 65:10), Succoth (Ps. 60:6), Ajalon (Josh. 10:12), Jezreel (Hos. 1:5). (3.) Ge, "a bursting," a "flowing together," a narrow glen or ravine, such as the valley of the children of Hinnom (2 Kings 23:10); of Eshcol (Deut. 1:24); of Sorek (Judg. 16:4), etc. The "valley of vision" (Isa. 22:1) is usually regarded as denoting Jerusalem, which "may be so called," says Barnes (Com. on Isa.), "either (1) because there were several valleys within the city and adjacent to it, as the vale between Mount Zion and Moriah, the vale between Mount Moriah and Mount Ophel, between these and Mount Bezetha, and the valley of Jehoshaphat, the valley of the brook Kidron, etc., without the walls of the city; or (2) more probably it was called the valley in reference to its being compassed with hills rising to a considerable elevation above the city" (Ps. 125:2; comp. also Jer. 21:13, where Jerusalem is called a "valley"). (4.) Heb. nahal, a wady or water-course (Gen. 26:19; Cant. 6:11).