hy·​drant ˈhī-drənt How to pronounce hydrant (audio)
plural hydrants
: a discharge pipe with a valve and spout at which water may be drawn from a water main (as for fighting fires)

called also fireplug

: faucet

Examples of hydrant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As for the broken and empty fire hydrants that hampered the firefighting response in 2018 and 2023, a spokesperson for the Maui Fire Department said the county water districts are responsible for making sure water flows to those hydrants and the equipment is functioning. Justine McDaniel, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2023 When thermometers in Chicago neared 100 on July 7, 1936, children at Racine Avenue and Ohio Street made the most of cooling water spurting from a hydrant that was turned on by the fire department. Kori Rumore, Chicago Tribune, 27 July 2023 No electrical switch will be lifted, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli hostages are returned home. Susannah George, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2023 In a similar vein, a 2022 paper from researchers in Germany analyzing hydrogen refueling logistics considered the potential benefits of several different refueling systems, such as trucks and pipelines and hydrants. IEEE Spectrum, 17 Sep. 2023 Water had to be brought in via trucks because there are no hydrants in the rural area, officials said. oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2023 Police had orders to arrest hydrant openers, but in tenement sections where children had no other way to cool off, the orders were not strictly enforced. Kori Rumore, Chicago Tribune, 27 July 2023 By the time the fire began surging through the central part of town, firefighters had encountered a new problem: The town’s water system was starting to collapse, leaving no water in the hydrants. Mike Baker, New York Times, 23 Aug. 2023 Police responded to a report of a snow plow knocking down a fire hydrant around 11 a.m. Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and arrived to find no water gushing, but signs that another hydrant had been hit on the same street -- although possibly by a different plow. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 6 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Greek hydr-, form in derivatives and compounds of hýdōr "water" + -ant entry 1 — more at hydro-

Note: Though the above is the only likely etymology, the formation is peculiar, as the suffix -ant is normally associated with verbs of French and/or Latin origin. This peculiarity suggests a deliberate coinage, but its source is apparently unknown. The word is attested earliest in Philadelphia city ordinances from the first decade of the nineteenth century.

First Known Use

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hydrant was in 1806

Dictionary Entries Near hydrant

Cite this Entry

“Hydrant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydrant. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


hy·​drant ˈhī-drənt How to pronounce hydrant (audio)
: a pipe with a valve and spout at which water may be drawn from the main pipes

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