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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Did You Know?

Based party on the Latin ducere, meaning "lead" or "conduct", the word aqueduct named an ancient civil-engineering marvel. You may have seen photos of the great arches of ancient aqueducts spanning valleys in countries throughout the old Roman Empire, practical pipelines that are also regarded as works of timeless beauty. From the 20th century, the 242-mile Colorado River Aqueduct, the 336-mile Central Arizona Project, and the 444-mile California Aqueduct are considered wonders of American engineering, but they are not renowned for their beauty. Most aqueducts today either are riverlike channels or run underground, perhaps appearing simply as a long mound.

Examples of aqueduct in a Sentence

marveled at the ancient Roman aqueducts that still carry water to distant villages

Recent Examples on the Web

In 1905, the middle class blossomed in Los Angeles thanks to the building of an aqueduct connecting developments to the Colorado River, and these new homeowners started planting palm trees too. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "How palm frond print went from the French Riviera to Target," 12 July 2019 And that could sound the death knell for the area, which is completely dependent -- as is all of Borrego Springs -- on groundwater because there is no economically feasible way to bring water via aqueduct or pipes to that portion of the desert. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Borrego Air Ranch: A desert community in peril," 7 July 2019 The explosion was the second in two days at the MWD’s San Fernando Tunnel, which will take the State Water Project flow from near Sylmar to a covered aqueduct line 5.5 miles away. Scott Harrison,, "From the Archives: Blast in Sylmar water tunnel kills 17," 24 June 2019 In Rome itself, a new aqueduct supplied the city with water from the north. Kenneth Garrett, National Geographic, "This warrior was the best of ancient Rome’s ‘Five Good Emperors’," 24 June 2019 Every second of the day, a nearby aqueduct delivered 18.5 gallons of water—the equivalent of the amount of water consumed today by the city of Siena—through a cistern and into copper tanks subsequently heated by the tunnels’ 50 brick ovens. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "You Can Now Tour the Tunnels Beneath Rome’s Baths of Caracalla," 20 June 2019 Cities prospered as Augustus and his successors built roads, aqueducts, baths, and amphitheaters to entertain the masses. National Geographic, "Who was Augustus Caesar?," 20 May 2019 Greco spoke at a regular board meeting of the water conservation district, which uses power from the generating plant to operate an aqueduct system that moves Colorado River Water to cities, farmers and tribes in central and southern Arizona. Washington Post, "Firm eyeing purchase of Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station," 7 June 2018 Orte Mile 130 Why StopThis medieval hill town, with 16th-century towers and a Renaissance-era aqueduct, sees very few travelers. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "6 Places You Absolutely Have to Stop on a Florence-to-Rome Road Trip," 12 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for aqueduct

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aqueduct

The first known use of aqueduct was in 1538

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More Definitions for aqueduct



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on aqueduct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aqueduct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aqueduct

Spanish Central: Translation of aqueduct

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

Comments on aqueduct

What made you want to look up aqueduct? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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