wa·​ter·​way | \ ˈwȯ-tər-ˌwā How to pronounce waterway (audio) , ˈwä-\

Definition of waterway

1 : a way or channel for water
2 : a navigable body of water

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of waterway in a Sentence

the Erie Canal was superseded by a much larger waterway, the New York State Barge Canal

Recent Examples on the Web

DeWine in March had called for immediately spending $85 million on water-quality funds, and setting another $800 million aside for future water programs, calling for a generational investment to keep Lake Erie and other Ohio waterways clean. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "Restoration of business-tax cut among changes proposed in Ohio Senate’s budget plan," 11 June 2019 Extreme rainfall over a short period led to many waterways overflowing their banks, washing out roads, and entering homes or businesses. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "US just topped 125-year-old, 12-month rainfall total," 10 June 2019 The heavy rains that hit Baton Rouge, the River Parishes and New Orleans on Thursday are not expected to affect the Mississippi’s water levels, as drainage within those areas largely flows to other waterways. Mark Schleifstein, nola.com, "Morganza Spillway opening delayed indefinitely," 6 June 2019 Forecasters are warning anyone living near waterways in the Carolinas to seek higher ground, and that means trouble for some of the poorest communities in eastern North Carolina and South Carolina. Fox News, "Florence poses a new threat for rural, struggling towns," 12 Sep. 2018 The contaminants reached to Newark Bay and other waterways, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has designated the area a Superfund site. Gretchen Morgenson, WSJ, "Agent Orange’s Other Legacy—a $12 Billion Cleanup and a Fight Over Who Pays," 3 Dec. 2018 Two B-52s flew over the strategic waterway claimed by China earlier this week in what the Pentagon called a routine mission. Fox News, "China criticizes US B-52 bomber missions as 'provocative'," 27 Sep. 2018 Key roads and bridges were also damaged, and debris blocked the Newport News Channel and other waterways. Jeff Martin, The Seattle Times, "In simulation, Category 4 hurricane devastated East Coast," 11 Sep. 2018 Almost the whole of Florida is alligator habitat, and the state is smothered with housing developments rimming the shores of tens of thousands of lakes, ponds, river, canals and other waterways gators call home. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Wildlife is wild, so admire from afar," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'waterway.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of waterway

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about waterway

Statistics for waterway

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for waterway

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for waterway



English Language Learners Definition of waterway

: a canal, river, etc., that is deep and wide enough for boats and ships to travel through


wa·​ter·​way | \ ˈwȯ-tər-ˌwā How to pronounce waterway (audio) , ˈwä-\

Kids Definition of waterway

: a channel or a body of water by which ships can travel

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on waterway

What made you want to look up waterway? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!