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[fresh-it] /ˈfrɛʃ ɪt/
a freshwater stream flowing into the sea.
a sudden rise in the level of a stream, or a flood, caused by heavy rains or the rapid melting of snow and ice.
Origin of freshet
1590-1600; fresh (noun) + -et
2. See flood. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for freshet
Historical Examples
  • And, John, I did not tell them anything except that the freshet had swept me away.

  • At that time the water, clearing after a summer freshet, was fairly low.

    Creatures of the Night Alfred W. Rees
  • During my return down the river, it was in a freshet, and we went headlong.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • "You might have to wait till next spring for a freshet," he said cheerfully.

    The Tale of Timothy Turtle Arthur Scott Bailey
  • The roar of the freshet awoke Nan in her bed before daybreak.

    Nan Sherwood at Pine Camp Annie Roe Carr
  • It may be imagined how piety intensifies in a freshet, or in a heavy gale of wind!

  • Logs, planks, and the other flotsam of a freshet moved on in the van of the flood.

    Aladdin & Co. Herbert Quick
  • Just now the spring freshet had subsided, which meant that the river was clear of ice.

    The Heart of Unaga Ridgwell Cullum
  • Some wanted a freshet, some wanted a drizzle, and some wanted a fog.

  • So, if my boy ever saw a freshet, it naturally made no impression upon him.

    A Boy's Town W. D. Howells
British Dictionary definitions for freshet


the sudden overflowing of a river caused by heavy rain or melting snow
a stream of fresh water emptying into the sea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for freshet

1590s, "stream flowing into the sea," from fresh (adj.1) in a now obsolete sense of "flood, stream of fresh water" (1530s). Old English had fersceta in the same sense. Meaning "flood caused by rain or melting snow" is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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