or wa·dy


noun, plural wa·dis. (in Arabia, Syria, northern Africa, etc.)

the channel of a watercourse that is dry except during periods of rainfall.
such a stream or watercourse itself.
a valley.

Origin of wadi

First recorded in 1830–40, wadi is from the Arabic word wādī
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wadi

Contemporary Examples of wadi

Historical Examples of wadi

  • I carry no note-book with me when I go down the wadi or out into the fields.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Everything, except the river in the wadi below, is yet asleep.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Near Zacariah the Wadi es Sunt contains but few of those trees.

  • He was buying up land for himself in the Wadi Al Ain and elsewhere.

    Southern Arabia

    Theodore Bent

  • So we went on, but for fully two miles, till the Wadi Adim crossed our path.

    Southern Arabia

    Theodore Bent

British Dictionary definitions for wadi



noun plural -dies

a watercourse in N Africa and Arabia, dry except in the rainy season

Word Origin for wadi

C19: from Arabic
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 wadi

"watercourse," 1839, from Arabic wadi "seasonal watercourse," prop. participle of wada "it flowed."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for wadi



A gully or streambed in northern Africa and southwest Asia that remains dry except during the rainy season.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.