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

  • n. A deep ditch or channel cut in the earth by running water after a prolonged downpour.
  • transitive v. To wear a deep ditch or channel in.
  • intransitive v. To form a deep ditch or channel.
  • n. Chiefly British A large knife.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A trench, ravine or narrow channel which was worn by water flow, especially on a hillside.
  • n. A small valley.
  • n. A drop kerb.
  • n. A road drain.
  • n. A fielding position on the off side about 30 degrees behind square, between the slips and point; a fielder in such a position
  • v. To flow noisily.
  • n. A large knife.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large knife.
  • n. A channel or hollow worn in the earth by a current of water; a short deep portion of a torrent's bed when dry.
  • n. A grooved iron rail or tram plate.
  • intransitive v. To flow noisily.
  • transitive v. To wear into a gully or into gullies.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To wear into a gully or channel; form gullies in.
  • To run, as water, with a noise.
  • n. A channel or hollow worn in the earth by a current of water; a narrow ravine; a ditch; a gutter.
  • n. An iron tram-plate or rail.
  • n. A kind of knife; a sheathknife. See the first extract.
  • n. A catch-basin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. deep ditch cut by running water (especially after a prolonged downpour)


Perhaps alteration of Middle English golet, throat, channel; see gullet.
Short for dialectal gully knife : gully (probably alteration of Middle English golet, throat; see gullet) + knife.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably related to Middle English golet "ravine, throat," French goulet, Latin gula "throat". (Wiktionary)
Scots gully, of unknown origin. (Wiktionary)


  • BILL EVANS. U.S. LIFE S.VING INS.RUCTOR: Rip current is a current of water that's flowing from shore back out to sea and is formed from the breaking waves forcing water over the sand bar into what we call the gully, which is the deeper portion right offshore.

    CNN Transcript May 31, 2004

  • There's not a proper foundation there, the gully is just stone and dirt.

    Tropical Storm Nicole 2010 Could Skirt Florida

  • The NVA were crossing the gully from the south to the high ground on the north side of the gully.

    Todd, Robert J.

  • To my belief, that gully is the top dressing of a dried up underground watercourse.

    Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land

  • These barrancas (the word literally means a ravine or mountain gully) are two mountains, one behind the other, which it is necessary to cross by a narrow path, that looks like a road for goats.

    Life in Mexico, During a Residence of Two Years in That Country

  • The name gully apparently derives from the more general meaning of a narrow channel or gorge between ‘point†™ and slips.

    The Times of India

  • An extreme form of soil erosion, in its best incarnation a gully is a difficult-to-discern and entirely unproductive seam in a field, one cut by the fierce flow of water and subsequently filled in with useless silt.


  • He said they are primarily now only concentrating on the area around which they found the two caves on Sunday, and an area directly below that that you mentioned, called the gully, that has that 2,500-foot drop at about a 60 percent grade.

    CNN Transcript Dec 18, 2006

  • The gully was a lot easier for a dog to negotiate than the steps, and, although there was no sign of the rabbit, the dogs were having a whale of a time racing along the sand, splashing in and out of the waves breaking on the shore.

    Stay Through The Night

  • They ate quickly and in silence, savoring tastes forgotten in the short week they had been consuming a tiresome catch-all called gully dwarf stew.

    Flint, the King


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  • In the NW, a ginnel or jigger.

    February 26, 2010

  • The passage or alley between two terraced houses. In Sheffield it's a gennel.

    February 26, 2010