[ waw-ter-spout, wot-er- ]
See synonyms for waterspout on Thesaurus.com
  1. Also called rain·spout [reyn-spout] /ˈreɪnˌspaʊt/ . a pipe running down the side of a building to carry away water from the gutter of the roof: Don’t expect the waterspouts to function effectively if the gutters are clogged with leaves and other debris.

  2. a spout, duct, or the like, from which water is discharged: The extendable waterspout can be attached to a bucket, making a better watering can than any that we’ve tried.

  1. Meteorology.Also called fair-weath·er wa·ter·spout [fair-weth-er] /ˈfɛərˌwɛð ər/ . a funnel-shaped column laden with mist and spray that develops on the surface of a body of water and climbs upward to the cloud that has spawned it: usually formed during conditions of light winds, fair-weather waterspouts have little lateral movement and are not normally accompanied by thunderstorms.

  2. Meteorology.Also called tor·na·dic wa·ter·spout [tawr-nad-ik] /tɔrˈnæd ɪk/ . a tornado that forms in a downward direction over a body of water, typically during a severe thunderstorm and often accompanied by high winds, dangerous water turbulence, and large hail: although tornadic waterspouts tend to dissipate rapidly upon landfall, they may occasionally move inland.

Origin of waterspout

First recorded in 1350–1400 and in 1730–40 for defs. 3, 4; Middle English; see water, spout

Words Nearby waterspout

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use waterspout in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for waterspout


/ (ˈwɔːtəˌspaʊt) /

  1. meteorol

    • a tornado occurring over water that forms a column of water and mist extending between the surface and the clouds above

    • a sudden downpour of heavy rain

  2. a pipe or channel through which water is discharged, esp one used for drainage from the gutters of a roof

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