brackish

adjective
brack·​ish | \ ˈbra-kish How to pronounce brackish (audio) \

Definition of brackish

1 : somewhat salty brackish water
2a : not appealing to the taste brackish tea
b : repulsive a brackish personality

Other Words from brackish

brackishness noun

Did you know?

When the word brackish first appeared in English in the 1500s, it simply meant "salty," as did its Dutch parent brac. Then, as now, brackish water could simply be a mixture of saltwater and freshwater. Since that time, however, brackish has developed the additional meanings of "unpalatable" or "distasteful"—presumably because of the undrinkable quality of saltwater. "The brackish water that we drink / Creeps with a loathsome slime, / And the bitter bread they weigh in scales / Is full of chalk and lime." As this use from Oscar Wilde's "Ballad of Reading Gaol" illustrates, brackish water can also include things other than salt that make it unpleasant to drink.

Examples of brackish in a Sentence

the office coffee is often some brackish brew that's been sitting around for a couple of hours the river becomes brackish as we approach the tidemark
Recent Examples on the Web Turning brackish water into useful water, the plant now provides a quarter of the local supply. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021 The repeated invasion of brackish lagoon water into St. Mark’s Basilica this summer is a quiet reminder that the threat hasn't receded. Colleen Barry, ajc, 20 Oct. 2021 The repeated invasion of brackish lagoon water into St. Mark’s Basilica this summer is a quiet reminder that the threat hasn’t receded. Colleen Barry, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Oct. 2021 The repeated invasion of brackish lagoon water into St. Mark’s Basilica this summer is a quiet reminder that the threat hasn’t receded. Colleen Barry, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Oct. 2021 But her water bowl is filled with a noisome black, brackish liquid — what has fouled it, and for how long, is anyone’s guess. Gene Weingarten, Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2021 Resilience, said the panelists, was the key trait that will generate optimism, along with the drive to work toward a brighter future even when faced with exceedingly brackish waters. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, 12 Oct. 2021 The tracks at White Sands were laid down along the shore of an ancient brackish lake that once filled the valley where the park’s famous dunes now stand. Wire Reports, oregonlive, 25 Sep. 2021 Though bluefish depart cooler waters, gray trout and speckled trout become more accessible along with white perch, yellow perch and brackish water pickerel. Bill May, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 3 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brackish.' 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 brackish

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brackish

Dutch brac salty; akin to Middle Low German brac salty

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The first known use of brackish was circa 1552

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Dictionary Entries Near brackish

bracketman

brackish

brackish-water crab

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Last Updated

20 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brackish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brackish. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for brackish

brackish

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of brackish

: somewhat salty

brackish

adjective
brack·​ish | \ ˈbra-kish How to pronounce brackish (audio) \

Kids Definition of brackish

: somewhat salty brackish water

More from Merriam-Webster on brackish

Nglish: Translation of brackish for Spanish Speakers

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