head·​wa·​ter | \ˈhed-ˌwȯ-tər, -ˌwä-\

Definition of headwater 

: the source of a stream usually used in plural

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Synonyms for headwater


head, headstream, source

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Examples of headwater in a Sentence

the first exploration of the Missouri River from its mouth to its headwaters was made by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in the early 1800s

Recent Examples on the Web

The river has many sources including headwaters in the Catskills and Poconos. Frank Kummer, Philly.com, "These Pinelands explorers may be paddling their kayaks through your next glass of water," 20 Apr. 2018 Running from its headwaters in Minnesota more than 2,300 miles to its Southern Louisiana mouth into the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River is the world’s fourth-longest river. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 The Sierra Nevada, Canadian Rockies, and Colorado River headwaters saw the highest increases in risk, with floods twice as likely in some cases. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "A warmer world means a greater risk rain lands on snow, triggering floods," 12 Aug. 2018 Pebble Limited Partnership has proposed the copper and gold prospect for a site that straddles the Bristol Bay salmon fishery headwaters. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Gov. Walker urges Army Corps to suspend environmental review process for Pebble," 1 July 2018 Pebble Limited Partnership has proposed building the mine at a site straddling headwaters that support Bristol Bay's giant salmon fishery. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Following pressure from Murkowski and others, Pebble comment period extended," 6 Apr. 2018 This hilly bowl once formed the headwaters of Dolores Creek. Thomas Graham, SFChronicle.com, "Walking these seven hills of San Francisco a peak experience," 28 June 2018 The border cuts through Spednic, East Grand and North lakes before reaching the headwaters of the St. Croix River watershed at Monument Brook. Porter Fox, New York Times, "On a Canoe Trip Along the U.S.-Canada Border, Solitude and Shooting Stars," 20 June 2018 In the meantime, the black headwater catfish and silvery Mexican tetras will have the 3.5 million gallon pool all to themselves. John Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "Rash of earthquakes prompts fear of oil boom in Balmorhea," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'headwater.' 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 headwater

1612, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for headwater

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for headwater

The first known use of headwater was in 1612

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Comments on headwater

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to make faulty or ineffective

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