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COMBE, or Coomb, a term particularly in use in south-western England for a short closed-in valley, either on the side of a down or running up from the sea. It appears in place-names as a termination, e.g. Wiveliscombe, Ilfracombe, and as a prefix, e.g. Combemartin. The etymology of the word is obscure, but "hollow" seems a common meaning to similar forms in many languages. In English "combe" or "cumb" is an obsolete word for a "hollow vessel," and the like meaning attached to Teutonic forms kumm and kumme. The Welsh cwm, in place-names, means hollow or valley, with which may be compared cum in many Scots place-names. The Greek also means a hollow vessel, and there is a French dialect word combe meaning a little valley.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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