Definition of brackish in English:



  • 1(of water) slightly salty, as in river estuaries.

    ‘a cup of brackish water’
    • ‘Estuaries (where fresh river water meets salty ocean water) are examples of brackish waters.’
    • ‘They are known to spend time in brackish water and even rivers.’
    • ‘Apparently any terrain is suitable as long as it is washed regularly by salty or brackish water.’
    • ‘Although the water was slightly brackish he soon had some excellent results.’
    • ‘Rather than trying to remove the salt from seawater, the plant would use brackish waters from the Thames ebb tide.’
    • ‘Some occur in the brackish water of estuaries and protected bays, commonly along steep parts of rocky reefs.’
    • ‘Atholville, New Brunswick, lay underwater in a coastal estuary, a brackish fresh and salt water environment teeming with life.’
    • ‘In south-west districts, where underground water is brackish, salts have surfaced and are cause of concern, as these will burn crops and make cattle fodder injurious to their health.’
    • ‘These shoaling fish, found in temperate and tropical waters around the world, willingly enter brackish waters, caring little how salty these are.’
    • ‘Most of where I live also happens to be beach, or at least bordered by some kind of salt or brackish water, so that's a plus from my perspective.’
    • ‘They also suggest that even if some Barrow's Goldeneyes molt on freshwater lakes near the littoral zone, most males frequent the brackish waters of estuaries similar to their wintering habitat.’
    • ‘This allows the tree to use the brackish water by filtering out the salt.’
    • ‘Most live in fresh or brackish (slightly salty) water and a few are found in marine habitats.’
    • ‘The cholera bacterium may also live in the environment in brackish rivers and coastal waters.’
    • ‘The otherwise brackish groundwater had become safe for consumption.’
    • ‘The two others are of a type found in fresh or brackish (slightly salty) water.’
    • ‘It won't take constant salt water, but it will take brackish water and it will take salt water if you flush it once the salts builds up in the root zone and the soil.’
    • ‘As a rule of thumb, phosphorus tends to be a problem in upstream and freshwaters, whereas nitrogen is a larger problem in downstream, brackish, and salty waters.’
    • ‘Preferring calm conditions, seahorses are often found near brackish water where salt and fresh water mix.’
    • ‘All are clad crisply in pre-oxidized copper panels, which are brawn, more than green, though this will change somewhat after winter gales spray the tower with the brackish water of the estuary.’
    slightly salty, slightly briny, saline, salt, salted
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    1. 1.1(of fish or other organisms) living in or requiring brackish water.
      • ‘In general, development rate is 1.5 to 2 times slower in freshwater calanoid copepods relative to their brackish or marine counterparts.’
      • ‘A continuing supply of freshwater from streams entering the lake would have stimulated the growth of algae and other freshwater organisms, resulting in a mix of brackish and freshwater species.’
      • ‘Schram considered Paulocaris to be a brackish to freshwater organism and Mamayocaris to be nearshore marine.’
      • ‘Eurypterid associations can often be distinguished and related to environmental conditions, such as marine, lagoonal or estuarine, or brackish to freshwater faunas.’
      • ‘Between the two horizons, occasional bands of brackish corbiculids intercalate with sediments containing freshwater gastropods and charophytes.’


Mid 16th century: from obsolete brack ‘salty’, from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch brac.