freshwater

adjective fresh·wa·ter \ ˈfresh-ˈwȯ-tər , -ˈwä- \
Updated on: 28 Feb 2018

Definition of freshwater

1 a : consisting of or containing fresh water
  • freshwater marshes
  • freshwater aquariums
— compare saltwater
b : living in or taken from fresh water
  • freshwater mussels/fish
  • freshwater pearls
c : relating to or taking place in fresh water
  • freshwater diving/sailing
2 US, dated : inland and usually provincial
  • a freshwater college

Recent Examples of freshwater from the Web

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

First Known Use of freshwater

1528

in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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fresh water

noun

Definition of fresh water

or less commonly freshwater
1 : water that is not salty
  • … the lake holds the largest volume of fresh water in the world, 5,000 cubic miles.
  • —Philip Taubman
also : water that is considered suitable for consumption
  • He saw many islands, but they were flat or rocky or they lacked fresh water or their anchorage was too shallow.
  • —John Taylor
2 : a body of fresh water
  • The hydrosphere includes oceans, fresh water, glaciers, and ice caps.
  • —Leigh Broadhurst
— compare salt water

First Known Use of fresh water

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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FRESHWATER Defined for Kids

freshwater

adjective fresh·wa·ter \ ˌfresh-ˈwȯ-tər , -ˌwä- \

Definition of freshwater for Students

: relating to or living in fresh water
  • freshwater fish


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