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

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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 ancestor "brak." 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

The shallow inland ocean had a series of connected waterways, and the particular one in the Dakotas was likely to be freshwater rather than salt water, or a sort of brackish mix in between. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "A New Shark Species Was Found in the Mud of Sue the T. Rex," 21 Jan. 2019 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eating raw seafood or exposing open wounds to brackish or salt water can increase a person’s risk of contracting the bacterial infection. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "New Jersey fisherman with flesh-eating infection opting out of hospice care: He 'will continue to fight'," 6 Aug. 2018 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that variations of vibrio can be found in brackish or salt water. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Man contracts flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing, could lose arms, legs," 10 July 2018 Still, gators—who prefer freshwater marshes and swamps, but can also thrive in the brackish Glades—are the more plentiful species. Tyler Moss, Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Best Places to See Wildlife in the U.S.," 23 Apr. 2018 And water siphoned off the Sacramento River in the northern delta would be fresher than what’s pumped now from the more brackish southern region. George Skelton,, "What do Southern Californians really get out of Gov. Jerry Brown's twin tunnels project?," 12 July 2018 Those with open wounds are encouraged by the New Jersey Health Department to avoid brackish water, according to WPVI. Josh Magness, miamiherald, "Flesh-eating bacteria may cost a man all his limbs. He got it while crabbing, family says," 10 July 2018 The brackish places where rivers meet seas are also a prime habitat for Vibrio. Cleve Wootson,, "A man went crabbing - and came back with flesh-eating bacteria that now threaten his life," 10 July 2018 Vibrio infections can be caused by ingestion of water or shellfish that contain the bacteria, or by direct skin exposure to Vibrio-containing salt or brackish water. Scott Dance,, "Marylanders warned to avoid Venezuelan crab meat after nine sickened by Vibrio bacteria," 7 July 2018

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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Time Traveler for brackish

The first known use of brackish was circa 1552

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More Definitions for brackish



English Language Learners Definition of brackish

: somewhat salty


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

Kids Definition of brackish

: somewhat salty brackish water

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More from Merriam-Webster on brackish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brackish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brackish

Spanish Central: Translation of brackish

Nglish: Translation of brackish for Spanish Speakers

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not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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