spill·​way | \ ˈspil-ˌwā How to pronounce spillway (audio) \

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

In aerial photos taken on Tuesday, fissure 8 now only contains a small lava pool below the channel spillway. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Hawaii volcano activity slows, may be entering a pause, USGS says," 8 Aug. 2018 With months left in the rainy season, state spokesperson Nancy Vogel said California now has drones, cameras and human lookouts watching the dam and its spillways. Ellen Knickmeyer, Popular Mechanics, "If California Dam Failed, People Would Likely Be Trapped," 17 Feb. 2017 Inspectors will be on site around the clock to monitor the spillway’s performance should the floodgates open. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Big storm raising flooding fears across Northern California," 4 Apr. 2018 Look for the parking area on the left just before the reservoir spillway. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Stonington Is Host To Rare Atlantic White Cedar Swamp," 4 Feb. 2018 In February 2017, a spillway at the nation’s tallest dam threatened to collapse and send a torrent of water flooding into downstream communities. Paul Elias, The Seattle Times, "Back-to-back crises boost California sheriff’s profile," 28 Nov. 2018 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

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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Statistics for spillway

Last Updated

25 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for spillway

The first known use of spillway was in 1889

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spillway

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spillway

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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