or fresh-wa·ter

[ fresh-waw-ter, -wot-er ]
/ ˈfrɛʃˌwɔ tər, -ˌwɒt ər /
Save This Word!


of or living in water that is fresh or not salt: freshwater fish.
accustomed to fresh water only, and not to the sea: a freshwater sailor.
small, provincial, or little known: a freshwater college.
Obsolete. untrained or of little experience.



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of freshwater

First recorded in 1520–30; fresh + water

Definition for freshwater (2 of 2)

fresh water


water that does not contain a large amount of salt.
inland water, as ponds, lakes, or streams, that is not salt.

Origin of fresh water

before 900; Middle English; Old English
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for freshwater

British Dictionary definitions for freshwater

/ (ˈfrɛʃˌwɔːtə) /

noun (modifier)

of, relating to, or living in fresh water
(esp of a sailor who has not sailed on the sea) unskilled or inexperienced
US small and little knowna freshwater school
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 freshwater

[ frĕshwô′tər ]

Consisting of or living in water that is not salty.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.