Definition of cistern
1 : an artificial reservoir (such as an underground tank) for storing liquids and especially water (such as rainwater)
2 : a large usually silver vessel formerly used (as in cooling wine) at the dining table
3 : a fluid-containing sac or cavity in an organism
Recent Examples of cistern from the Web
The function of a steam fire engine was to pump water out of a cistern, a river or a lake with enough force to reach the top of the tallest building.
An 80,000-gallon cistern, located near the sculpture, will irrigate the sculpture garden and prevent water runoff from entering storm sewers.
Consider adding rain barrels or cisterns to capture and store water for the dry times.
What family members call their well lies beneath cracked concrete in a damp, old cistern.
The Hypogeum’s oldest and uppermost level consists of a passageway, access to a cistern below, a courtyard-like space dug into the promontory and five low-roofed burial chambers carved out of pre-existing caves.
Crews found an ancient brick Fire Department water cistern under Main Street.
Refreshments will be served at the Stammer House, built in 1909 with a gable style roof and cistern under the house.
In the next year, Alice's Garden will build a swale to drain water from the nearby Brown Street Academy into an underground cistern, said Venice Williams, executive director of the community gardens.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cistern.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
CISTERN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cistern for English Language Learners
: an underground container that is used for collecting and storing rainwater
: a tank that holds the water for a toilet
: a tank on the roof of a building that holds water for the building
CISTERN Defined for Kids
Definition of cistern for Students
: an artificial reservoir or tank for storing water usually underground
Medical Definition of cistern
: a fluid-containing sac or cavity in an organism
Seen and Heard
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