- Often wetlands. land that has a wet and spongy soil, as a marsh, swamp, or bog.
Origin of wetland
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for wetland
The Canadian tar sand deposits exist under an area of forest and wetland the size of Florida.Our Trip to The Climate War's Ground Zero
September 19, 2014
Other, greener options, like wetland restoration or oyster reefs, could also help slow waves before they reach the city.Hurricane Sandy’s Lesson for Flood-Proofing a Subway
November 4, 2012
Wetland wildlife would get unhealthily wet, damaging unique ecosystems.California Sinkin’: What Rising Sea Levels Will Mean for the Golden State
June 30, 2012
- (sometimes plural)
- an area of swampy or marshy land, esp considered as part of an ecological system
- (as modifier)wetland species
Word Origin and History for wetland
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A low-lying area of land that is saturated with moisture, especially when regarded as the natural habitat of wildlife. Marshes, swamps, and bogs are examples of wetlands. See more at lacustrine marine palustrine riverine.
A Closer Look: Wetlands are areas such as swamps, bogs, and marshes where water either covers the soil or is present at or near the surface, particularly in the root zone, at least a good portion of the year, including the growing season. In the past, wetlands were generally considered unproductive or undesirable lands-smelly and unhealthful, a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests-and many were filled in to create farmland or to develop land for housing and industrial use. More than half of the original wetlands in the continental United States have disappeared in the name of reclamation, disease prevention, and flood control. Scientists now realize that, far from being noxious barrens, wetlands play a key role in the ecosystem. They act as filters, removing pollutants, including metals, from waters. They serve as reservoirs, and they aid flood and erosion control by absorbing excess water. Wetlands are home to a great variety of plant and animal species, some endangered, that have evolved to live in the wetland's unique conditions. The preservation and, where possible, restoration of these vital habitats has become a primary goal of environmentalists around the world.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.