Definition of aqueduct in US English:



  • 1An artificial channel for conveying water, typically in the form of a bridge across a valley or other gap.

    • ‘He built aqueducts to supply the city with water.’
    • ‘Water is delivered here by an aqueduct that cuts through 242 miles of desert.’
    • ‘Red sky creeps over the aqueduct, making the water look dark.’
    • ‘Yonkers, on the other hand, began work in September 1873 on its own aqueduct that would deliver water from the Sprain Brook.’
    • ‘By all accounts it was magnificent settlement supplied with plentiful water from aqueducts powered by windmills.’
    • ‘Finally we visited part of the Roman aqueduct that brought water from the mountains into the city.’
    • ‘The next bridge may look like just an ordinary footbridge but it's also a covered aqueduct, transporting the waters of the ancient River Tyburn across the canal.’
    • ‘In California the delta island levees in the Sacramento river area are breached, disrupting the aqueduct system transporting water from north to south.’
    • ‘You see, this young engineer Attilus builds a great aqueduct to bring water from the slopes of Vesuvius sixty miles to Pompeii and other towns on the Bay of Naples.’
    • ‘Even today, residents of desert outposts like Khotan and Korla live as they have for centuries, funneling precious water in ancient aqueducts to fields bursting with grapes and apricots.’
    • ‘One of these bridges is also a live aqueduct that supplies irrigation water to fields in surrounding areas.’
    • ‘The water in the aqueducts is under pressure and we obviously have to make sure that our work doesn't disrupt the pipes or the water supply in any way.’
    • ‘The Los Angeles water project carries water 300 miles through a system of aqueducts and siphons.’
    • ‘Elaborate systems of aqueducts and ditches brought water from dammed springs to planted terraces, demonstrating engineering and building skills as well as planning and organizing abilities.’
    • ‘It seems likely, judging from the sediments in the water channels, that the aqueduct went on supplying water to Nîmes until the early medieval period.’
    • ‘Additional aqueducts have been built, but water is still scarce in some areas of the city.’
    • ‘The same technique was employed in Egypt, with the collected water stored underground in aqueducts.’
    • ‘Los Angeles still draws half of its water from the aqueduct.’
    • ‘The Romans excelled in those things which the Greeks took little interest in such as the building of roads, aqueducts and sewers.’
    • ‘This led to chronic legal conflict, particularly when small communities used water from aqueducts that served Philadelphia, Boston, or New York City.’
    conduit, race, channel, watercourse, waterway, sluice, sluiceway, spillway
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Anatomy A small canal containing fluid.
      • ‘From the lateral ventricles CSF drains into the central third ventricle, and thence through the aqueduct in the midbrain into the fourth ventricle.’
      • ‘The tumor measured 64 x 35 x 27 mm and extended from the aqueduct to the Cl level of the spinal cord.’
      • ‘While at Queen Square he wrote an MD thesis on the radiology of the aqueduct and fourth ventricle.’
      • ‘The root fibers arising from the trochlear nuclei form a decussation dorsal to the mesencephalic aqueduct, and they are the only cranial nerves that cross completely and that leave the dorsal aspect of the brain stem.’


Mid 16th century: from obsolete French (now aqueduc), from Latin aquae ductus ‘conduit’, from aqua ‘water’ + ducere ‘to lead’.