[waw-ter-spout, wot-er-]
See more synonyms for waterspout on Thesaurus.com
  1. Also called rainspout. a pipe running down the side of a house or other building to carry away water from the gutter of the roof.
  2. a spout, duct, or the like, from which water is discharged.
  3. a funnel-shaped or tubular portion of a cloud over the ocean or other body of water that, laden with mist and spray, resembles a solid column of water reaching upward to the cloud from which it hangs.Compare tornado(def 1).

Origin of waterspout

1350–1400; 1730–40 for def 3; Middle English; see water, spout
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for waterspout

Contemporary Examples of waterspout

Historical Examples of waterspout

  • This demon was a waterspout, and waterspouts in China are attributed to the battles of dragons.


    Benjamin Taylor

  • They say to hit the waterspout in the centre where it joins the other from below will disperse it.

    Standish of Standish

    Jane G. Austin

  • Look, if there are not a number of dead fish which the waterspout must have sucked up.

    Picked up at Sea

    J.C. Hutcheson

  • As for the night, instead of a drizzle he would have welcomed a waterspout.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke

  • The ship was lowered about a hundred feet away from the waterspout.

British Dictionary definitions for waterspout


  1. meteorol
    1. a tornado occurring over water that forms a column of water and mist extending between the surface and the clouds above
    2. 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

Word Origin and History for waterspout

late 14c., "drainpipe," from water (n.1) + spout (n.). Meaning "whirlwind on open water" is recorded from 1738.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper