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or wa·dy

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noun, plural wa·dis. (in Arabia, Syria, northern Africa, etc.)
  1. the channel of a watercourse that is dry except during periods of rainfall.
  2. such a stream or watercourse itself.
  3. a valley.
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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. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for wadis



noun plural -dies
  1. a watercourse in N Africa and Arabia, dry except in the rainy season
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Word Origin

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 wadis



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

wadis in Science


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