wa·​ter·​spout | \ ˈwȯ-tər-ˌspau̇t , 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

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 The season lacks the abrupt violence of summer squalls, full of lightning and waterspouts, but many a March and April morning speaks of wind. Earl Swift, Outside Online, "The Incredible True Story of the Henrietta C.," 20 June 2018 Funnel clouds and waterspouts are possible as a result of the slow-moving tropical weather system passing through southeast Texas, meteorologists said. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "More rain expected today in Houston area," 20 June 2018 California twist: As California continues to see storminess, a funnel cloud, or waterspout, was observed near San Luis Obispo on Wednesday morning. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "PM Update: Another cold and windy one tonight, and slightly milder for Thursday," 14 Mar. 2018 The National Weather Service also issued a special marine warning about until 5 p.m. to Volusia and Brevard County Line to Sebastian Inlet, cautioning that strong thunderstorms could form sudden waterspouts. Bianca Padró Ocasio, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Tornado causes minor damage to Merritt Island homes, meteorologists say," 14 May 2018 Although severe weather will not be likely, some stronger storms will be possible with an isolated threat of a waterspout or weak tornado. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Heavy rainfall expected during Mother's Day weekend," 11 May 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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Last Updated

28 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for waterspout

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

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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 , 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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