water column

noun

plural water columns
1
: a vertical expanse of water stretching between the surface and the floor of a body of water
Shallow feeders, sea lions work the top 600 feet of the water column for hake, rock-fish, herring, sardines … and squid, but opportunistically capturing anything that happens by.Downs Matthews
Only a few animals of the water column above would have died and settled into the sediments below during the short time when the mudslide was coalescing into a layer of sediment in the stagnant basin.Stephen Jay Gould
2
: a vertical pipe with valves and spout for delivering water to a locomotive tender

Examples of water column in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Disturbing the seafloor could lead to plumes of sediment rising through the water column, which could disturb sea life for hundreds of kilometers, impacting Norway’s neighbors—such as Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands—as well as the Arctic more broadly. Eliza Gkritsi, WIRED, 12 Jan. 2024 When the water is warm, reel quickly and pop the rod tip to get the lure swimming in any part of the water column. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 4 Jan. 2024 For mesopelagic fish, their poop is potentially released both at a deeper point in the water column and farther from shore, where the ocean itself is much deeper. WIRED, 9 Dec. 2023 The two new reefs both occupy a layer of the water column with a low concentration of oxygen. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 2 Nov. 2023 Plus, any impacts in the ocean would enter the water column and possibly damage very large areas up to kilometers away. Susan Lahey, Popular Mechanics, 24 July 2023 To focus on the most productive area of the water column, use the adjustable zoom. Ric Burnley, Field & Stream, 4 May 2023 Both the reef’s structure, the bottom or sediment, as well as the biomass, fish and other marine life in the water column, is capturing or trapping carbon, the scientists said. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 26 Oct. 2023 Clouds of camouflaging ink squirt out and swirl in the Sundance water column. Robert Baker, Discover Magazine, 12 Nov. 2019 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of water column was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near water column

Cite this Entry

“Water column.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water%20column. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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