Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A steep, deep valley, especially one running down to the sea.
  • noun A dry, bowl-shaped valley or hollow on the side of a hill.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See comb.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun See comb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A valley or hollow, often wooded and with no river.
  • noun A cirque.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English coumb, hollow, valley, from Old English cumb, of Celtic origin; akin to Welsh cwm, valley.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English cumb, perhaps from a Celtic source (compare Welsh cwm).

Examples

  • This story about confirming if a cat was dead has reminded me of a very disconcerting event in Englishcombe near Bath no, not a badger story.

    How to confirm if a cat's dead.

  • This was followed by a unique gesture and facial expression combe that said, "Am I right?"

    Quick Movie Review

  • Almost opposite the combe was a stack of tall, ragged rocks, part of the island before some natural cataclysm had created the combe and left some indestructible granite in the form of a hazard so dangerous to shipping that a light-ship was anchored half-a-mile to the east of the rocks to warn vessels of their proximity.

    The Murder of Busy Lizzie

  • Fingle Bridge four winding valleys meet; that is, the combe down which the river sweeps from above curves one way, and the narrow opening into which it disappears twists sharply round in another.

    Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts

  • And there the forest came down the valley -- for it is not enough for me to call a combe -- almost to the rear of the hall and the quickset inclosure around it.

    A Thane of Wessex

  • "combe" -- and at the mouth of this, well sheltered on three sides from the north, the east, and north-eastern winds, stood the homestead.

    The Toilers of the Field

  • The second ( "combe," the omission of which from the official French dictionaries Nodier characteristically denounces, is our own "combe" -- a deep valley; from, I suppose, the Celtic Cwm; and pronounced by

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 To the Close of the 19th Century

  • There are a very few words - brock, for badger being one, combe, meaning a deep valley, and which appears in some English village names and in contemporary Welsh, another, torr, a mountain peak - which seem to have survived, at least among those who speak preciously or somewhat pedantically today.

    Excerpt: The Meaning of Everything by Simon Winchester

  • a deep little dale with children playing in it -- and this 'I afterwards learned was called a' combe ': delightful memory!

    The Path to Rome

  • Lizzie ran for John Fry at once, and we gave him full directions, how he was to slip out of the barley in the confusion of the breakfast, so that none might miss him; and to run back to the black combe bottom, and there he would find the very same pony which Uncle Ben had been tied upon, and there is no faster upon the farm.

    Lorna Doone

Comments

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  • "And yet, for all that it stood so well in the centre of human bustle, its long, latticed window, with the wide window-seat, built into an embrasure beyond the huge fireplace, looked out on a wild spreading view of hill and heather and wooded combe."

    "The Cobweb" by Saki, p 104 of The Unrest-Cure and Other Stories (NYRB paperback)

    October 14, 2013