Meaning of estuary in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɛstjʊəri/

See synonyms for estuary

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nounplural noun estuaries

  • The tidal mouth of a large river, where the tide meets the stream.

    ‘The turtles spend most of their lives in mangrove-lined tidal estuaries, where rivers flow into the sea.’
    • ‘It is a land of undulating hills and hollows, dips and drumlins, rivers, inlets, estuaries and lakes, dotted with homes and barns.’
    • ‘The Hiberno-Norse towns were all located at trans-shipment points on the upper tidal estuaries of the larger Irish river systems.’
    • ‘This subspecies migrates from the nearshore ocean to brackish estuaries and to freshwater streams and rivers to spawn.’
    • ‘The flounder is common in estuaries and the tidal waters of rivers, and especially abundant in the Baltic Sea.’
    • ‘It is found in shallow marine coastal waters, rivers, estuaries and lakes, preferably with sand or mud bottoms.’
    • ‘As all life depends upon water we must care for it and do all we can to protect groundwaters, rivers, estuaries and seas.’
    • ‘During migration and winter, they inhabit beaches, mudflats, shallow estuaries, and inlets.’
    • ‘Such trips include opportunities to explore an island's rivers and estuaries, either by inflatable or kayak.’
    • ‘The picturesque coastal village of Arnside sits on the estuary of the River Kent where it flows into Morecambe Bay.’
    • ‘The wide estuary of the River Tay on the east coast of Scotland presented a formidable obstacle to transport.’
    • ‘We'd spent the night on an old trawler bobbing around in the estuary of the river.’
    • ‘Scottish scientists are leading a £650,000 project to save Europe's river estuaries from the effects of global warming.’
    • ‘Saltwater crocodiles living in river estuaries are generally bigger and tend to more aggressive towards people.’
    • ‘River ecosystems and estuaries, of vital importance to many species, have been severely damaged throughout Europe.’
    • ‘This is because they like to frequent the shallow waters of river estuaries and harbours, so often come into close proximity to man where there is poor visibility.’
    • ‘We present a new method to characterize and quantify groundwater discharge to estuaries and the coastal ocean.’
    • ‘Freshwater streams, estuaries, and the open ocean are all important habitats.’
    • ‘Contestants can fish from any of the local beaches, rivers or estuaries but fishing from the rocks or from boats is not allowed.’
    • ‘Researchers have learnt that females give birth in river estuaries, sheltered from the strong winds and waves of the open sea.’
    mouth, river mouth, firth
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (denoting a tidal inlet of any size): from Latin aestuarium ‘tidal part of a shore’, from aestus ‘tide’.