from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Water held or pushed back by or as if by a dam or current.
  • noun A body of water thus formed.
  • noun A place or situation regarded as isolated, stagnant, or backward.
  • noun A rowing or paddling stroke in which the oar or paddle is pushed forward, used to check a boat's forward motion or move it backward.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 1. Water flowing in from behind.
  • noun Water thrown back by the turning of a water-wheel or the paddles of steamboats, etc.
  • noun Water held or forced back, as in a mill-race or in a tributary stream, in consequence of some obstruction, as a dam or flood.
  • noun An artificial accumulation of water obtained at high tide and reserved in reservoirs, to be discharged at low tide for clearing off deposits in channel-beds and tideways.
  • noun A creek or arm of the sea which runs parallel to the coast, having only a narrow slip of land between it and the sea, and communicating with the latter by barred entrances.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Water turned back in its course by an obstruction, an opposing current, or the flow of the tide, as in a sewer or river channel, or across a river bar.
  • noun An accumulation of water overflowing the low lands, caused by an obstruction.
  • noun Water thrown back by the turning of a waterwheel, or by the paddle wheels of a steamer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The water held back by a dam or other obstruction
  • noun idiomatic A remote place; somewhere that remains unaffected by new events, progresses, ideas, etc.
  • noun A rowing stroke in which the oar is pushed forward to stop the boat; see back water
  • verb To row or paddle a backwater stroke.
  • verb idiomatic To vacillate on a long-held position.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a body of water that was created by a flood or tide or by being held or forced back by a dam
  • noun a place or condition in which no development or progress is occurring


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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