wa·​ter·​spout | \ ˈwȯ-tər-ˌspau̇t How to pronounce waterspout (audio) , ˈwä-\

Definition of waterspout

1 : a pipe, duct, or orifice from which water is spouted or through which it is carried
2 : a funnel-shaped or tubular column of rotating cloud-filled wind usually extending from the underside of a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud down to a cloud of spray torn up by the whirling winds from the surface of an ocean or lake

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Examples of waterspout in a Sentence

the waterspout became clogged, and then the roof leaked

Recent Examples on the Web

Then, the captain alerted the team that a waterspout—or a tornado that whirls over water—was forming off the port bow. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Watch First Footage of Giant Squid Filmed in American Waters," 24 June 2019 The warning was prompted by what appeared to be a large waterspout over Mobile Bay that was captured on camera: WOW! Leigh Morgan, al.com, "Tornado watch issued for part of south Alabama; large waterspout spotted," 6 June 2019 Minutes later, twenty-two miles and more to sea, towering waterspouts marked the landing places of the great projectiles, crammed with high explosives. Scott Harrison, latimes.com, "From the Archives: 14-inch railroad guns fired near Oceanside," 11 June 2019 The typical waterspout will have winds of 30-40 mph, according to the weather service. Leigh Morgan, al.com, "Another waterspout sighted — this one near Dauphin Island," 5 June 2019 Prany turned on all the waterspouts, the showerhead, and the faucet. Paul Yoon, Harper's magazine, "Run Me to Earth," 10 Mar. 2019 Winds gusted to over 100 mph on outer Cape Cod while waterspouts danced off the waters nearby. Farther west, more than a foot of snow fell, accompanied by whiteout conditions and thundersnow. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "No need to duck and cover — this is the ‘bomb cyclone,’ explained," 3 Jan. 2018 Scientists believe that tornadoes over water — known as waterspouts — could be responsible for sucking fish into the air where they are blown around until being released to the ground. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Utah Department of Wildlife drops fish from plane for 'extreme restocking' of lake," 30 Aug. 2018 On extreme occasions, a few of these vortices may stretch all the way up to the clouds above, creating the elusive winter waterspout. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "It’s been ‘wicked cold’ in Boston for over a week, and it’s about to get even worse," 5 Jan. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for waterspout

Last Updated

29 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for waterspout

The first known use of waterspout was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for waterspout



English Language Learners Definition of waterspout

: a pipe or tube for water to pass through
: an opening through which water flows
: an area of rapidly spinning wind in the shape of a funnel or tube that forms between a cloud and the surface of an ocean or lake


wa·​ter·​spout | \ ˈwȯ-tər-ˌspau̇t How to pronounce waterspout (audio) , ˈwä-\

Kids Definition of waterspout

1 : a pipe for carrying off water from a roof
2 : a slender cloud that is shaped like a funnel and extends down to a cloud of spray torn up from the surface of a body of water by a whirlwind

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