reservoir

noun
res·​er·​voir | \ ˈre-zə-ˌvwär How to pronounce reservoir (audio) , -zər- How to pronounce reservoir (audio) , -ˌvwȯr How to pronounce reservoir (audio) also -ˌvȯi \

Definition of reservoir

1 : a place where something is kept in store: such as
a : an artificial lake where water is collected and kept in quantity for use
b : a part of an apparatus in which a liquid is held
c : supply, store a large reservoir of educated people
2 : an extra supply : reserve
3a : a host organism in which an infectious agent (such as a bacterium or virus) that is pathogenic for some other species lives and multiplies typically without damaging the host

Note: A reservoir serves as a source from which transmission of infection and outbreaks of disease can occur.

It is the white-footed mouse that serves as a natural reservoir host for the spirochete B. [Borrelia] burgdorferi. These mice carry the spirochete without any apparent harm to themselves, and it is through feeding on infected mice that the immature stages of the tick acquire the spirochete.— Suzanne Clothier et al.
also : a nonliving thing (such as soil or water) in which an infectious agent lives and multiplies and which serves as a source of infection similar to a host organism
b : a part of the body that harbors an infectious agent and serves as a source of reinfection or infection transmission … vulvar or rectal reservoirs, which might increase risk for BV [bacterial vaginosis] recurrence.— Lisa E. Manhart et al. — compare carrier sense 5a, vector entry 1 sense 2a

Examples of reservoir in a Sentence

The pen has a large ink reservoir. Colleges and universities provide reservoirs of talent for job recruiters. She found the reservoirs of energy she needed to finish the job.
Recent Examples on the Web The level of the reservoir on the Arizona-Utah border now stands about 32 feet above that threshold. Ian Jamesstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 While the capacity of the reservoir is enormous, with a capacity of 8 billion gallons, older sewer lines in some suburbs just aren’t up to the task of moving water fast enough to keep it from backing up into streets and basements, Durkin said. Mike Nolan, chicagotribune.com, 3 Apr. 2022 As western regions contend with drier conditions, New York City is under fire for sometimes releasing hundreds of millions of gallons of water a day from a key reservoir in the Catskill Mountains. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2022 As western regions contend with drier conditions, New York City is under fire for sometimes releasing hundreds of millions of gallons of water a day from a key reservoir in the Catskill Mountains. Michael Hill, ajc, 21 Apr. 2022 Hollowell also noted that the machine has a metal block that heats the system (rather than a big reservoir that needs to heat up), improving recovery time and allowing our tester to make six drinks back-to-back. PEOPLE.com, 15 Apr. 2022 The artform uses a wax-resist method: Molten wax is applied to the shell of a raw egg with a traditional stylus called a kistka; the writing tool has a reservoir that’s filled with beeswax, which flows when heated under the flame of a candle. Angie Leventis Lourgos, chicagotribune.com, 9 Apr. 2022 And to guard against tap water contamination — as happened during an algae bloom at a reservoir serving Salem several years ago — the building will use its own 100-foot-deep well as a backup. New York Times, 8 Apr. 2022 Not a single major reservoir is filled to its average for this time of year. Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of reservoir

1690, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reservoir

French réservoir, from Middle French, from reserver

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Time Traveler for reservoir

Time Traveler

The first known use of reservoir was in 1690

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Dictionary Entries Near reservoir

reservist

reservoir

reservoir rock

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Statistics for reservoir

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reservoir.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reservoir. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for reservoir

reservoir

noun
res·​er·​voir | \ ˈre-zər-ˌvwär How to pronounce reservoir (audio) \

Kids Definition of reservoir

: a place where something (as water) is kept in store for future use

reservoir

noun
res·​er·​voir | \ ˈrez-ə(r)v-ˌwär How to pronounce reservoir (audio) , -ə(r)v-ˌ(w)ȯr How to pronounce reservoir (audio) \

Medical Definition of reservoir

1 : a space (as an enlargement of a vessel or the cavity of a glandular acinus) in which a body fluid is stored
2a : a host organism in which an infectious agent (as a bacterium or virus) that is pathogenic for some other species lives and multiplies typically without damaging the host

Note: A reservoir serves as a source from which transmission of infection and outbreaks of disease can occur.

Wild rodents also constitute a reservoir of hantaviruses. The viruses are shed in urine, droppings, and saliva, and humans are mainly infected aerogenically by inhaling aerosols containing the virus.— Hilde Kruse et al., Emerging Infectious Diseases
also : a nonliving thing (as soil or water) in which an infectious agent lives and multiplies and which serves as a source of infection similar to a host organism
b : a part of the body that harbors an infectious agent and serves as a source of reinfection or infection transmission … vulvar or rectal reservoirs, which might increase risk for BV [bacterial vaginosis] recurrence.— Lisa E. Manhart et al., Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology carrier sense 1a, vector entry 1 sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on reservoir

Nglish: Translation of reservoir for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reservoir for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about reservoir

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