spill·​way | \ˈspil-ˌwā \

Definition of spillway 

: a passage for surplus water to run over or around an obstruction (such as a dam)

Examples of spillway in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Army Corps of Engineers predicts that the reservoir that protects Des Moines from Des Moines River flooding will crest next weekend at a level above the lip of the concrete emergency spillway. CBS News, "Des Moines, Iowa, begins cleanup following historic flooding," 1 July 2018 Over the weekend, the lake topped off and the floodwaters then pounded through and over the spillways at the dam, an amazing sight. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Floods hammer Sierra foothills," 26 Mar. 2018 When more than 100,000 people were ordered evacuated downstream of Oroville Dam last year amid fears an emergency spillway could collapse, officials moved to open up mass evacuation centers, including one in Sacramento. Rong-gong Lin Ii And Sarah Parvini, sacbee, "The Big One could leave 250,000 to 400,000 quake refugees in California. Where will they go?," 3 June 2018 Every winter, when the spillways of the Detroit dam are opened to make room for spring snowmelt, parts of the old town become visible above the water. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Dried-Up Lake Reveals a Forgotten Oregon Town," 4 Jan. 2016 The spillway is the reservoir's primary tool for flushing out massive amounts of water in a quick, controlled way. Joseph Serna, latimes.com, "Atmospheric river brings impressive rain, risk of flooded rivers and test of Oroville Dam's spillway," 7 Apr. 2018 The construction labor supply has grown even tighter because of recent events like the Oroville Dam spillway crisis and wildfires, Rector said. Kayla Fitzgerald, sacbee, "Construction workers in demand at job fair this weekend in Sacramento," 8 June 2018 Below the Lake Wylie Dam in Fort Mill on Monday morning, water thundered down the main spillway and into a free-flowing Catawba rising toward its banks. Michael Gordon, charlotteobserver, "Here's what Charlotte can expect from Alberto," 28 May 2018 The corps opens the spillway to reduce pressure on river levees throughout the New Orleans area, generally limiting water heights at the Carrollton Gage in the city to no higher than 17 feet. Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com, "Algae bloom, possibly toxic, spreads across Lake Pontchartrain," 26 Mar. 2018

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

1889, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for spillway

The first known use of spillway was in 1889

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spillway

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