[ es-choo-er-ee ]
/ ˈɛs tʃuˌɛr i /
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noun, plural es·tu·ar·ies.
that part of the mouth or lower course of a river in which the river's current meets the sea's tide.
an arm or inlet of the sea at the lower end of a river.
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Origin of estuary
1530–40; <Latin aestuārium channel, creek, inlet, equivalent to aestu(s) tide + -ārium-ary
OTHER WORDS FROM estuaryes·tu·ar·i·al [es-choo-air-ee-uhl], /ˌɛs tʃuˈɛər i əl/, adjective
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH estuarydelta, estuary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use estuary in a sentence
The bulk of estuarial silt comes down the main river from the upper Basin.The Nation's River|United States Department of the Interior
British Dictionary definitions for estuary
/ (ˈɛstjʊərɪ) /
noun plural -aries
the widening channel of a river where it nears the sea, with a mixing of fresh water and salt (tidal) water
an inlet of the sea
Derived forms of estuaryestuarial (ˌɛstjʊˈɛərɪəl), adjective
Word Origin for estuary
C16: from Latin aestuārium marsh, channel, from aestus tide, billowing movement, related to aestās summer
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
Scientific definitions for estuary
[ ĕs′chōō-ĕr′ē ]
The wide lower course of a river where it flows into the sea. Estuaries experience tidal flows and their water is a changing mixture of fresh and salt.
An arm of the sea that extends inland to meet the mouth of a river.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for estuary
[ (es-chooh-er-ee) ]
A wide body of water formed where a large river meets the sea. It contains both fresh and salt water.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.