water column

plural water columns

Definition of water column

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

First Known Use of water column

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of water column was in 1845

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Cite this Entry

“Water column.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water%20column. Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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