aq·​ue·​duct | \ ˈa-kwə-ˌdəkt How to pronounce aqueduct (audio) \

Definition of aqueduct

1a : a conduit for water especially : one for carrying a large quantity of flowing water
b : a structure for conveying a canal over a river or hollow
2 : a canal or passage in a part or organ

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Based partly on the Latin ducere, meaning "lead" or "conduct," the word aqueduct named an ancient civil-engineering marvel. Ancient Rome's aqueduct system, an extraordinary feat of engineering, brought water to the city from as far as 57 miles (92 kilometers) away. Only a portion of the Roman aqueducts utilized the familiar stone arch; most were underground conduits made of stone or terra-cotta pipe. Modern aqueduct systems now often use reinforced concrete for large water mains, and ductile iron, a stronger and more elastic type of cast iron, for smaller underground pipes.

Examples of aqueduct in a Sentence

marveled at the ancient Roman aqueducts that still carry water to distant villages
Recent Examples on the Web Stefanie Smallhouse, a rancher who heads the Arizona Farm Bureau, said Arizona farmers who rely on water from the aqueduct, known as the Central Arizona Project, may have to fallow up to 40% of their acreage. Author: Karin Brulliard, Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Aug. 2021 Many of his members rely on the state and federal aqueduct systems and well water to grow a variety of crops — from rice to walnuts, row-crop beans to almonds. Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2021 Because the water comes from the mountains, the aqueduct is built on a downhill slope. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, 8 Aug. 2021 The flooding forced authorities in the Dominican to shut down part of an aqueduct system, interrupting water service for hundreds of thousands of people. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 15 Aug. 2021 Dominican Republic officials were also forced to shut down part of the country’s aqueduct system, due to flooding from the storm. Julia Musto, Fox News, 14 Aug. 2021 More than a half-million were affected by swollen rivers that forced part of the aqueduct system to shut down, government officials reported, the AP reported. Monivette Cordeiro,, 12 Aug. 2021 About 1,600 years had passed since Rome built its last aqueduct. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, 8 Aug. 2021 With so many people using the municipality’s water, the outdated aqueduct system has collapsed. Washington Post, 28 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aqueduct.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aqueduct

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for aqueduct

Latin aquaeductus, from aquae (genitive of aqua) + ductus act of leading — more at duct

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Time Traveler for aqueduct

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The first known use of aqueduct was in 1538

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Dictionary Entries Near aqueduct

aqua vitae



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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aqueduct.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of aqueduct

: a structure that looks like a bridge and that is used to carry water over a valley also : a pipe or channel that is used to bring water to an area


aq·​ue·​duct | \ ˈa-kwə-ˌdəkt How to pronounce aqueduct (audio) \

Kids Definition of aqueduct

: an artificial channel used to carry water over a valley


aq·​ue·​duct | \ ˈak-wə-ˌdəkt How to pronounce aqueduct (audio) \

Medical Definition of aqueduct

: a canal or passage in a part or organ

More from Merriam-Webster on aqueduct

Nglish: Translation of aqueduct for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about aqueduct


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