One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A turbulent stretch of open water caused by a strong current or tide over a submarine ridge, or by a meeting of currents.
- ‘This current is often too strong to swim against, but it's never strong enough to form overfalls on this part of the reef.’
- ‘Divers should be aware that the whole area is subject to complex and strong tidal streams and heavy overfalls.’
- ‘You need very calm surface conditions and a northward current in Jack Sound, but not so strong as to cause turbulent overfalls.’
- 1.1 A place where surplus water overflows from a dam, weir, or pool.
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