Would using "peaks and valleys" be more correct or is there an appropriate word/term?

  • 1
    A peak is usually the top of a high mountain, so 'hills and valleys' might be better. 'Ups and downs' would be OK in informal language. Jan 23, 2020 at 13:35
  • Are you speaking literally? In the US, a small "valley" in a road, such that in driving through it, you will experience your stomach lurching, is called a "Dip.". The "DIP AHEAD" sign is common, and examples are available via your favorite search engine. The equivalent feature in reverse is very unsafe and avoided in proper highway design. It could be called a hillock, maybe?
    – Adam
    Jan 23, 2020 at 15:37
  • I would use "undulations" in some contexts, but it depends on exactly what is being described. Jan 23, 2020 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


The “ups and downs” in an undulating road can be referred to in many ways but the following are some of the most common.

For the “ups”, particularly in informal conversation, “hill” or “bump” (for smaller features) might be most often used, but another possibility is “crest”. “Crest” is used in a specialised technical context too when discussing the “profile” or “vertical alignment” of roads and highways.

For the “downs”, the most common term is “dip” (although “valley” and “depression” are also possible). “Dip” is used technically too but “sag” is a particularly technical term.

For example, on Australian roads there are “CREST” and “DIP” warning signs, described as follows to learner drivers:

DIP: A sharp depression in the road can bottom out your suspension in extreme cases... It may also conceal other vehicles coming towards you so take care if you want to overtake another vehicle.

CREST: There’s a crest of a hill ahead. Be careful if you are overtaking as you might not be able to see vehicles coming towards you that are on the other side of the crest.

You’ll find the technical terms in use here.

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