AskDefine | Define gorge

Dictionary Definition



1 a deep ravine (usually with a river running through it)
2 a narrow pass (especially one between mountains) [syn: defile]
3 the passage between the pharynx and the stomach [syn: esophagus, oesophagus, gullet] v : overeat or eat immodestly; make a pig of oneself; "She stuffed herself at the dinner"; "The kids binged on icecream" [syn: ingurgitate, overindulge, glut, englut, stuff, engorge, overgorge, overeat, gormandize, gormandise, gourmandize, binge, pig out, satiate, scarf out]

User Contributed Dictionary


Etymology 1

Middle English, from French, from Late Latin gurga



  1. A deep narrow passage with steep rocky sides; a ravine.
  2. The throat or gullet.
deep passage


  1. In the context of "reflexive|followed by on": To eat greedily and in large quantities.
    They gorged themselves on chocolate and cake.
Derived terms
to eat greedily

Etymology 2

Shortened from gorgeous


  1. Gorgeous.
    Oh, look at him, isn't he gorge!




fr-noun f


  1. First-person and third-person singular indicative present of the verb gorger.
  2. First-person and third-person singular subjunctive present of the verb gorger.

Extensive Definition

For the song, see CANYON.MID. For the band, see Canyon (band).
A canyon (rarely cañon) or gorge is a deep valley between cliffs often carved from the landscape by a river. Most canyons were formed by a process of long-time erosion from a plateau level. The cliffs form because harder rock strata that are resistant to erosion and weathering remain exposed on the valley walls. Canyons are much more common in arid areas than in wetter areas because weathering has a greater effect in arid zones. Canyon walls are often formed of resistant sandstones or granite. Submarine canyons are those which form underwater, generally at the mouths of rivers. The word canyon is Spanish in origin (cañón). The word canyon is generally used in the United States, while the word gorge is more common in Europe and Oceania, though it is also used in some parts of the United States and Canada. The military derived word defile is occasionally used in England.
A famous example is the Grand Canyon in Arizona. In the southwestern United States, canyons are important archeologically because of the many cliff-dwellings built there, largely by the earlier inhabitants, Ancient Pueblo Peoples.
Sometimes large rivers run through canyons as the result of gradual geologic uplift. These are called entrenched rivers, because they are unable to easily alter their course. The Colorado River and the Snake River in the northwestern United States are two examples of tectonic uplift.
Canyons often form in areas of limestone rock. Limestone is to a certain extent soluble, so cave systems form in the rock. When these collapse a canyon is left, for example in the Mendip Hills in Somerset and Yorkshire Dales in Yorkshire, England.
The definition of "largest canyon" is rather imprecise, as a canyon can be "large" by its depth, length, or the total area of the canyon system. Also the inaccessibility of the major canyons in the Himalaya contributes to their not being regarded as candidates for the biggest canyon. The definition of "deepest canyon" is similarly imprecise, especially if one includes mountain canyons as well as canyons cut through relatively flat plateaus (which have a somewhat well-defined rim elevation).
The Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon, along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet, China, is regarded by some as the deepest canyon in the world, and is even slightly longer than Grand Canyon. Hence it is regarded by many as the world's largest canyon, followed by the Kali Gandaki Gorge in Nepal, Polung Tsangpo Canyon in Tibet, Cotahuasi Canyon (3,535 m deep and the deepest in the Americas), and the Tekezé gorge (2000m+ deep and deepest in Africa).
Slot canyons are very narrow canyons, often with smooth walls.

Other well-known canyons

Other lesser-known canyon systems include: The Blue Mountains west of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia contain many

Canyons on other planetary bodies

Venus has many craters and canyons on its surface. The troughs on the planet are part of a system of canyons that is more than 6 400 km long.


gorge in Bulgarian: Каньон
gorge in Czech: Kaňon
gorge in Danish: Kløft
gorge in German: Canyon
gorge in Estonian: Kanjon
gorge in Spanish: Cañón (geomorfología)
gorge in Esperanto: Kanjono
gorge in French: Canyon
gorge in Indonesian: Ngarai
gorge in Italian: Gola (geografia)
gorge in Hebrew: קניון (עמק)
gorge in Dutch: Kloof
gorge in Japanese: 峡谷
gorge in Norwegian: Canyon
gorge in Uighur: يېمەك
gorge in Polish: Przełom rzeki
gorge in Portuguese: Cânion
gorge in Romanian: Defileu
gorge in Russian: Каньон
gorge in Simple English: Canyon
gorge in Finnish: Kanjoni
gorge in Swedish: Kanjon
gorge in Turkish: Kanyon
gorge in Chinese: 峽谷

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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