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See more synonyms for freshet on Thesaurus.com
  1. a freshwater stream flowing into the sea.
  2. a sudden rise in the level of a stream, or a flood, caused by heavy rains or the rapid melting of snow and ice.
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Origin of freshet

1590–1600; fresh (noun) + -et


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2. See flood.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for freshet

Historical Examples

  • And, John, I did not tell them anything except that the freshet had swept me away.

    Southern Lights and Shadows


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

  • During my return down the river, it was in a freshet, and we went headlong.


    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.

British Dictionary definitions for freshet


  1. the sudden overflowing of a river caused by heavy rain or melting snow
  2. a stream of fresh water emptying into the sea
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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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper