estuary

noun es·tu·ary \ ˈes-chə-ˌwer-ē , ˈesh- \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of estuary

plural estuaries
:a water passage where the tide meets a river current; especially :an arm of the sea at the lower end of a river

Examples of estuary in a Sentence

  1. the city sits on the shores of a deep estuary where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean

Recent Examples of estuary from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'estuary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

A partly enclosed coastal body of water in which river water is mixed with seawater is called an estuary. An estuary is thus defined by salinity rather than geography. Many coastal features designated by other names are in fact estuaries (for instance, Chesapeake Bay). Some of the oldest continuous civilizations have flourished in estuarine environments (for example, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the Nile delta, and the Ganges delta). Cities such as London (Thames River), New York (Hudson River), and Montreal (St. Lawrence River) developed on estuaries and became important commercial centers.

Origin and Etymology of estuary

Latin aestuarium, from aestus boiling, tide; akin to Latin aestas summer — more at edify

estuary Synonyms

Synonyms
arm, bay, bight, cove, creek [chiefly British], embayment, gulf, firth, fjord (also fiord), inlet, loch [Scottish]
Related Words
harbor, port, road (s), roadstead; narrow, sound, strait; bayou; backwater, slough (also slew or slue)

ESTUARY Defined for English Language Learners

estuary

noun

Definition of estuary for English Language Learners

  • : an area where a river flows into the sea


ESTUARY Defined for Kids

estuary

noun es·tu·ary \ ˈes-chə-ˌwer-ē \

Definition of estuary for Students

plural estuaries
:an arm of the sea at the lower end of a river


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!