[ fresh-it ]
/ ˈfrɛʃ ɪt /


a freshwater stream flowing into the sea.
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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for freshet

British Dictionary definitions for freshet


/ (ˈfrɛʃɪt) /


the sudden overflowing of a river caused by heavy rain or melting snow
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