aq·ue·duct | \ˈa-kwə-ˌdəkt \

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

The energy purchase agreements the board approved Thursday will cover about 14 percent of aqueduct’s energy needs. Washington Post, "Firm eyeing purchase of Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station," 7 June 2018 Looking at the aerial images, Stott and his colleagues discovered fragments of another aqueduct flowing into the city's southwest quarter, which would probably have supplied a rock cistern there. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Decades of aerial photos reveal how an ancient desert city got its water," 30 May 2018 Billions of dollars have been poured into reservoirs, pumping stations and aqueducts, mostly to move water from the rainy north to the arid and densely populated south. Dale Kasler, sacbee, "This one issue could make splitting California into three states virtually impossible," 25 June 2018 And Mulholland’s aqueduct continues to flow, while the availability of water remains a Los Angeles (and a California) preoccupation. Leo Braudy, New York Times, "Los Angeles as the City of Dreams, and Nightmares," 1 June 2018 The ghostly ruins of the aqueduct offer a window into a part of the state’s storied past. Peter Marteka,, "The Ruins Of An Engineering Wonder Along The Farmington River," 13 May 2018 For half a century, the water has been fed into the aqueducts by giant southern delta pumps that have reversed San Joaquin River flows, confusing migrating baby salmon. George Skelton,, "What do Southern Californians really get out of Gov. Jerry Brown's twin tunnels project?," 12 July 2018 Slated to begin in October 2022, these renovations will require the aqueduct to be fully shut down for six months. Keith Williams, New York Times, "It’s Hot. How Do I Get the Spray Shower at the Park to Work?," 19 June 2018 The cutting off of the aqueducts in the sixth century during the Gothic Wars meant that the carrying capacity of the city was dramatically reduced. Greg Woolf, WSJ, "‘Rome: A History in Seven Sackings’ Review: The City That Survived," 29 June 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

26 Sep 2018

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 \

Kids Definition of aqueduct

: an artificial channel used to carry water over a valley


aq·ue·duct | \ˈak-wə-ˌdəkt \

Medical Definition of aqueduct 

: a canal or passage in a part or organ

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Comments on aqueduct

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