fresh·​et ˈfre-shət How to pronounce freshet (audio)
archaic : stream sense 1
: a great rise or overflowing of a stream caused by heavy rains or melted snow
: a swelling quantity : influx
summer brings a freshet of tourists

Examples of freshet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Two and a half feet of rain beat down upon the face of the San Gabriels, wiping out the rustic resorts wedged into the canyons, and chuting runoff waters down onto the plain along ancient dry rivulets and freshets and canyons that Angelenos had forgotten or never known about. Patt Morrisoncolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2023 The Hudson River had a little current, fed by freshets from upstream with local rains, and melting snow farther up, in the Adirondacks. Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2020 As August turned to September, the sun dropped and the first cold freshet of autumn rainwater flowed out of the mountains and tickled the noses of the salmon waiting off Astoria, where the Columbia meets the Pacific Ocean. Patrick Symmes, Harper's magazine, 28 Oct. 2019 Pools of it, rivulets of it, lapping lakes and freshets of it, in a green and timbered landscape — our eyes were always thirsty for the sight of it. Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2019 And spring will come and melt this frozen beauty with its thunderous freshet. Peter Marteka,, 7 Jan. 2018 Director Matthew Ozawa gave the demon barber and all his victims credible backstories, adding flesh to the freshets of blood in Skylight Music Theatre’s production of this Sondheim classic. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 Dec. 2017 And so this river rises, gathers new freshets, drains ever more valleys. Bill McKibben, New Republic, 12 July 2017 New springs, freshets of water popping out of the mountain and onto the road, created small gullies almost daily, and mud tainted the blue ocean the color of a café latte in broad eddies circling up the coast. Thomas Curwen,, 26 May 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'freshet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of freshet was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near freshet

Cite this Entry

“Freshet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


fresh·​et ˈfresh-ət How to pronounce freshet (audio)
: a sudden overflowing of a stream

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