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From Middle English freche watur, fresshe water; equivalent to fresh +‎ water.


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freshwater (not comparable)

  1. Living in fresh water.
    The trout is a freshwater fish.
  2. Consisting of fresh water.
    Lake Baikal is the world's largest freshwater lake in terms of volume.
  3. (nautical) Unskilled as a seaman.
    a freshwater sailor
  4. (economics) neoclassical, in reference to U.S. macroeconomics and economics departments near the Great Lakes.
    • 2012, John Quiggin, Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us, Princeton University Press (expanded paperback ed., 1st ed. from 2010), →ISBN, page 86.
      Meanwhile, the freshwater side of the dispute rapidly reverted to arguments from the nineteenth century, which had been debunked by Keynes and Irving Fisher.
    Synonym: sweetwater

Derived terms[edit]



English Wikipedia has an article on:

freshwater (countable and uncountable, plural freshwaters)

  1. (countable) A body of fresh water
    • 1953, Publications of the Institute of Marine Science (volumes 3-4, page 100)
      Fossils with low Sr/Ca ratios indicating origin in a freshwater of a type which has a low Sr/Ca ratio: []
    • 1967, Bent J. Muus, The Fauna of Danish Estuaries and Lagoons[1], page 87:
      Smith (1958) found that N. limnicola in Lake Merced, virtually a freshwater, had no paragnaths or at the most one on section I against the "normal" 1–2.
    • 2013, Brian R. Moss, Ecology of Fresh Waters: A View for the Twenty-First Century:
      The chances of long-term preservation of fossils in freshwaters are minimal, for freshwaters are readily disturbed and destroyed by drought on the land masses.
    • 2015, Sophie Lake, Durwyn Liley, Robert Still, Britain's Habitats
      Freshwaters are portrayed in many artforms, including books such as Kenneth Grahame's childrens' story Wind in the Willows.
  2. Alternative spelling of fresh water
    • 1978, Roger M. Waller, John T. Turk, and Robert J. Dingman, "Potential effects of deep-well waste disposal in western New York", Geological Survey Professional Paper, page 21:
      Schematic diagram of the viscosity effect during the injection of freshwater.
    • 2002, Friedrich A. Schott, Physical Oceanography of the Indian Ocean During WOCE[2], page 1246:
      Above 200m, high-salinity water was being carried southward out of the Arabian Sea. This implies that most of the freshwater was imported into the Arabian Sea in the upper layer.
    • 2011, Guy Levy, P. Fine, and A. Bar-Tal, Treated Wastewater in Agriculture, [3]:
      Actual field data of Cl distribution in soil after irrigation with TWW and freshwater were obtained in a field experiment in Israel (Feigin et al., 2005; Fine et al. 2007).
    • 2014 April 20, Richard Conniff, “An evolutionary family drama”, in The New York Times[4]:
      Alewives are anadromous fish: Born in freshwater, they spend their lives in the ocean, returning annually to their birthplaces to spawn.