[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. estrous,
  2. estrous cycle,
  3. estrual,
  4. estrus,
  5. estuarine,
  6. estuary english,
  7. esu,
  8. esurient,
  9. esuriently,
  10. et

Origin of estuary

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

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

Can be confuseddelta estuary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for estuary

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 Formsestuarial (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

Word Origin and History for estuary



1530s, from Latin aestuarium "a tidal marsh or opening," from aestus "boiling (of the sea), tide, heat," from PIE *aidh- "to burn" (see edifice). Related: Estuaries; estuarine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for estuary


[ 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.

Culture 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.