See more synonyms for freshet on
  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.

Origin of freshet

1590–1600; fresh (noun) + -et

Synonyms for freshet

See more synonyms for on
2. See flood. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for freshet

Historical Examples of freshet

  • 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.

  • 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
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper