Definition of leat in English:



  • An open watercourse conducting water to a mill.

    ‘the Little Avon was used to feed the millpond via a half mile long leat’
    • ‘There are several features associated with leats, one being the ‘sheep leap’.’
    • ‘The Leat Project restored a man-made water channel or leat, at the Woodland Education Centre which is in south-west England.’
    • ‘The purpose of this was to stop the leat overflowing in times of high water.’
    • ‘There are a number of leats existing in Somerset and a typical example can be seen at the Mill at Warren Farm, Exmoor.’
    • ‘A whim shaft and earth dams and leats are also visible.’
    • ‘Due to the necessity of following the contours the length of the leat was seventeen and a half miles.’
    • ‘Factory buildings spread from the leats on the west side of the river up the north side of Exwick Hill.’
    • ‘However, the leats were not originally built to supply mills with power, but were excavated for the draining and reclamation of land between the city wall and the Exe.’
    • ‘The Luxulyan Valley, including ownership of the leats, was acquired by two Councils in 1992 from the clay industry.’
    • ‘Lately there has been no water in the leats while work has been underway but the flow will be restored on completion of the repairs.’
    • ‘There are also leats for water meadows, tin works, farm and cottage drinking water supplies.’


Late 16th century: from Old English -gelǣt (recorded in wætergelǣt ‘water channel’), related to lǣtan ‘to let’.