[ es-choo-er-ee ]
/ ˈɛs tʃuˌɛr i /

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.

Origin of estuary

1530–40; < Latin aestuārium channel, creek, inlet, equivalent to aestu(s) tide + -ārium -ary


es·tu·ar·i·al [es-choo-air-ee-uh l] /ˌɛs tʃuˈɛər i əl/, adjective


delta estuary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for estuarial

  • 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 estuarial

/ (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 estuary

estuarial (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 estuarial

[ ĕschōō-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 estuarial

[ (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.