head·wa·ter | \ˈhed-ˌwȯ-tər, -ˌwä-\

Definition of headwater 

: the source of a stream usually used in plural

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for headwater


head, headstream, source

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

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 In 1971, the club built its first hut in Hatcher Pass: The Mint Hut, a popular and relatively easy-to-access hut at the headwaters of the Little Susitna River. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "A new hut with dramatic views rose up this summer in Alaska’s Hatcher Pass backcountry," 8 July 2018 To the north, the PCT leaves Carson Pass, climbs over a ridge and then drops into a valley with the headwaters of the Truckee River, what is called Meiss Country. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "High Sierra paradise for free (and for sale)," 21 June 2018 Health officials issued an emergency waterway closure of Carr Creek, which is on the north shore of the Severn River, from the headwaters to Carrs Creek Road. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "More than 40,000 gallons of sewage spills near Annapolis," 4 July 2018 Destinations include the following: Billy’s Lake Cruise the deepest section of the Okefenokee and the headwaters of the historic Suwannee River on Billy’s Lake. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "Plan your trip: A guide to the Okefenokee swamp," 2 July 2018 There has also been a growing chorus of Illinois officials objecting to the potential environmental impacts of the Foxconn manufacturing plant in Kenosha County, which will be built in the headwaters of the Des Plaines River. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "'Our wetlands are not for sale': More than 200 rally against Foxconn development," 28 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.

See More

First Known Use of headwater

1612, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about headwater

Dictionary Entries near headwater








Statistics for headwater

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for headwater

The first known use of headwater was in 1612

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on headwater

See words that rhyme with headwater

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for headwater

Comments on headwater

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


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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