Definition of estuary in English:



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

    • ‘This subspecies migrates from the nearshore ocean to brackish estuaries and to freshwater streams and rivers to spawn.’
    • ‘We'd spent the night on an old trawler bobbing around in the estuary of the river.’
    • ‘River ecosystems and estuaries, of vital importance to many species, have been severely damaged throughout Europe.’
    • ‘The flounder is common in estuaries and the tidal waters of rivers, and especially abundant in the Baltic Sea.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Scottish scientists are leading a £650,000 project to save Europe's river estuaries from the effects of global warming.’
    • ‘We present a new method to characterize and quantify groundwater discharge to estuaries and the coastal ocean.’
    • ‘Researchers have learnt that females give birth in river estuaries, sheltered from the strong winds and waves of the open sea.’
    • ‘Contestants can fish from any of the local beaches, rivers or estuaries but fishing from the rocks or from boats is not allowed.’
    • ‘The picturesque coastal village of Arnside sits on the estuary of the River Kent where it flows into Morecambe Bay.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As all life depends upon water we must care for it and do all we can to protect groundwaters, rivers, estuaries and seas.’
    • ‘The wide estuary of the River Tay on the east coast of Scotland presented a formidable obstacle to transport.’
    • ‘It is found in shallow marine coastal waters, rivers, estuaries and lakes, preferably with sand or mud bottoms.’
    • ‘Saltwater crocodiles living in river estuaries are generally bigger and tend to more aggressive towards people.’
    • ‘Freshwater streams, estuaries, and the open ocean are all important habitats.’
    embouchure, debouchure, debouchment, discharge, disemboguement
    inver, water mouth
    View synonyms


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