wa·​ter·​course ˈwȯ-tər-ˌkȯrs How to pronounce watercourse (audio)
: a natural or artificial channel through which water flows
: a stream of water (such as a river, brook, or underground stream)

Examples of watercourse in a Sentence

Pesticides are sometimes responsible for contamination of watercourses. the Erie Canal was the first watercourse to connect the Hudson River with the Great Lakes
Recent Examples on the Web The Miami River, the five-mile watercourse that flows from Miami International Airport down to Biscayne Bay, also holds many chapters of Miami’s history on its banks. Miami Staff, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 Recently surging watercourses have mellowed to tenable levels. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2023 The last major investment in the garden was more than 40 years ago, when city parks horticulturalist Don Todt was given funds to shore up the watercourse with concrete and bring more greenery to the sloping rectangle that spans from the park’s Winburn Way to residential Granite Street. oregonlive, 23 Oct. 2022 But governments and developers all along the watercourse are scrambling to exploit its natural and social resources. Brian Eyler, Foreign Affairs, 11 Feb. 2020 But bountiful downpours that started the year -- causing deadly flooding in some places -- have left the state in much better shape and watercourses are flowing. CBS News, 16 Feb. 2023 Connecting the dots, Mr. Kempton envisions a hidden watercourse that flows across nearly three blocks of the cathedral’s property — starting at the church’s north side near West 113th Street and running southward across the 11-acre property to Cathedral Parkway. William J. Broad George Etheredge, New York Times, 23 Dec. 2022 The first section involves a steep climb aided by a metal cable, then a challenging zig zag up a dry watercourse leading to a level narrow track edging around the mountain, (only some of it is fenced). Lisa Morrow, CNN, 31 Jan. 2023 Combing through tens of thousands of river images by hand, Dethier and colleagues pinpointed where sediment loads begin to rise along each watercourse. Bypaul Voosen, science.org, 11 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'watercourse.' 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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of watercourse was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near watercourse

Cite this Entry

“Watercourse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/watercourse. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


wa·​ter·​course -ˌkō(ə)rs How to pronounce watercourse (audio)
: a channel in which water flows
: a stream of water (as a river or brook)

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