Definition of reservoir in US English:



  • 1A large natural or artificial lake used as a source of water supply.

    • ‘Loch Ness is the largest body of freshwater in Britain, containing more water than all the lakes and reservoirs in England and Wales combined.’
    • ‘From there, water is channeled into reservoirs, and then to individual homes.’
    • ‘It grows on nutrient-poor muds on the edges of ponds, lakes and reservoirs that are exposed when water levels fall.’
    • ‘Water supplies from the reservoir were cut off, pending tests for contamination.’
    • ‘Both of these developments necessitated the construction of dams, sluices, and water channels, the design of which influenced the construction of reservoirs for water supply under gravity.’
    • ‘Some hover above fresh water lakes or reservoirs.’
    • ‘Apart from it becoming scarcer, the great lakes and reservoirs are being contaminated and no longer is the water as pure as in days gone by.’
    • ‘If more reservoirs or artificial lakes are needed, they should be built.’
    • ‘The remainder obtain water from streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs.’
    • ‘The department added that there are safety mechanisms in place whereby if a sample tested exceeds the safety standard, the water supply from the reservoir can be cut off.’
    • ‘Water companies have hundreds of different sources from rivers and reservoirs to ground water supplies and wells.’
    • ‘Such a dam would turn the lake into a reservoir to store irrigation water for use in the lower Yellowstone Valley.’
    • ‘A water firm has been granted permission to pump water from the Lake District into a reservoir in case of drought.’
    • ‘These reservoirs, which supply water to the towns of Cornwall and Highlands, New York, were built before 1920.’
    • ‘The same would apply to all inland lakes and reservoirs.’
    • ‘This is why methane bubbles out of waterlogged bogs, seasonally flooded forests, reservoirs and lakes and landfills.’
    • ‘Water from the reservoir has been supplying Castledermot for the past year, replacing the old groundwater sources which were no longer adequate or reliable for their purpose.’
    • ‘Herbicides and other pesticides can reach streams, lakes, and reservoirs in water that runs off treated fields.’
    • ‘Anthropogenic lakes, reservoirs for water storage or for power generation, abound in both the developed and developing worlds, and many of these are filling so rapidly with sediment that their useful life is gauged as a few decades.’
    • ‘The reservoir supplies water to North, Central and South Pattaya.’
    pool, lake, pond
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    1. 1.1 A supply or source of something.
      ‘tapping into a universal reservoir of information’
      • ‘Do they act as a reservoir of near-professional talent to plug injury gaps?’
      • ‘Stock analysts often point to the $2.1 trillion in money funds as a reservoir of buying power for the stock market.’
      • ‘An ongoing recruitment data bank to create a reservoir of possible teachers must be immediately implemented, so that replacements can be done in 24 hours.’
      • ‘Others have shown interest in the unconscious mind as a reservoir of universal truths or a place where the ‘true self’ dwells.’
      • ‘To put together critical creative teams, the 21 st-century organization must go to urban centers where reservoirs of talent are concentrated.’
      • ‘They have accumulated a reservoir of ill will that could sink them.’
      • ‘She has universal name recognition and a deep reservoir of public sympathy.’
      • ‘You've got to realize that there's only five significant British films that come out each year, so there isn't a whole reservoir of talent from which to choose.’
      • ‘And the reason that there was a reservoir of surplus capacity was that consumer demand was extremely depressed.’
      • ‘Michael will always be remembered for his wit, his sense of fun and his great reservoir of information about all things regarding the Stephenites.’
      • ‘This reservoir of anonymous accounts and bogus banks is accessed by institutions for both genuine and illicit purposes.’
      • ‘Most of these advertisers realize they don't have a reservoir of marketing talent of their own at corporate headquarters.’
      • ‘Reaching back to higher headquarters, which traditionally enjoy larger staffs and larger reservoirs of knowledge, experience, and information, is not a new concept.’
      • ‘Nurses are great reservoirs of information and, as I quickly learned, love getting huge boxes of chocolate at the nursing station as a show of appreciation.’
      • ‘She has a reservoir of talent, which needs to be nurtured and taken to higher levels.’
      • ‘Having ‘failed to build up reservoirs of informal power,’ they were increasingly ‘peripheral to the land system.’’
      • ‘This could take the form of turning into state assets those vague sources of funds which have become sources of nonbudgetary funds, and also reservoirs of corruption…’
      • ‘Fair enough, Scottish football is a comparatively small pond and the reservoir of coaching talent is not exactly boundless.’
      • ‘The bank, as a reservoir of funds, borrows amounts deposited with it by its customer and pays them out as his agent.’
      • ‘Its well-referenced contents will provide a reservoir of information for scholars of folklore, religion and history of plant use.’
      stock, store, stockpile, reserve, reserves, supply, accumulation, bank, pool, fund
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    2. 1.2usually with modifier A place where fluid collects, especially in rock strata or in the body.
      • ‘Carrier-bed rocks are lithologically the same as reservoir rocks, that is, sandstones, limestones, or fractured rocks of all types.’
      • ‘The low water contents strongly suggest that the erupted tephras were derived from a shallow magma reservoir or reservoirs.’
      • ‘Furthermore, studies of Palaeogene deposits from West Greenland have shown that in situ basaltic pyroclastic rocks can form important oil reservoirs.’
      • ‘This article is geared primarily to individuals, students as well as professionals, who are relatively new to carbonate diagenesis and petroleum reservoir rocks.’
      • ‘Chemical compaction generally is detrimental to reservoir rock characteristics and/or petroleum production.’
    3. 1.3 A receptacle or part of a machine designed to hold fluid.
      • ‘Avoid using pots with built-in reservoirs for the same reason.’
      • ‘The height of the car can also be adjusted from the driver's seat, through moving a lever that increases or reduces the fluid sent into the system from the reservoir.’
      • ‘The company also makes cigarette filters, ink reservoirs and self-adhesive tear tapes.’
      • ‘To put it frankly, I really don't like the design of the reservoir included in this kit.’
      • ‘The ink on the reservoir is driven through the microchannel via capillary action to reach the dispensing tip.’
      • ‘Printing is accomplished via tiny cells or ink reservoirs which are engraved into the surface of the print cylinder.’
      • ‘If humidifiers are necessary, scrub the fluid reservoirs at least twice a week to prevent mold growth.’
      • ‘This also kept the cost of ink cartridges low since they were little more than reservoirs of ink.’
      • ‘Some automated reprocessors are designed with disinfectant reservoirs that are easy to access for concentration testing.’
      • ‘We curse the empty reservoir of washer fluid in the rush hour traffic over freshly salted slush.’
      • ‘At present, oil operators have to pump the well fluid from a sub-sea reservoir to a production platform, where the mixture is separated into oil and water.’
      • ‘Fountain pens, with their own reservoirs of ink, invented in the 19th century, are occasionally used for drawing by artists today.’
      • ‘Katie handed him a bright yellow Bic lighter, the see through type with two reservoirs, fluid sloshing between the two as you tilted the plastic housing this way, then that, the two sides never seeming to reach a balance.’
      • ‘Remember to top up the windscreen washer fluid reservoirs - new anti-freeze windscreen solutions are widely available’
      • ‘Brake fluid sucked from the reservoir by a motor pump is discharged to each of the branched out conduits between the valve and the wheel cylinder.’
      • ‘Engineering machine metal-cutting fluid reservoirs are used as coolants and lubricants in metal machining processes.’
      • ‘This comes after years of changing ribbons and adding toner ink to reservoirs within the computer.’
      • ‘He locked his left leg into a straight position and attempted to cycle as much hydraulic fluid back into the reservoir as the system would allow.’
      • ‘The apparatus includes a plurality of tubes and reservoirs in fluid communication with the tubes.’
      • ‘A cabin supercharger and a reservoir for anti-icing fluid were contained in each outboard nacelle.’
      receptacle, container, holder, repository, tank
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    4. 1.4Medicine A population, tissue, etc., that is chronically infested with the causative agent of a disease and can act as a source of further infection.
      • ‘Our results provide further support for the hypothesis that the male genital tract may serve as a reservoir of HPV infection.’
      • ‘Depending on the Leishmania strain and the sandfly species, the major reservoirs of disease are dogs or rodents and sometimes humans.’
      • ‘Shigellosis is a highly contagious disease caused by Shigella spp. and humans are the principal reservoir of infection.’
      • ‘Asymptomatic young men are an important reservoir for infection and are less likely than women to be detected in the course of usual care.’
      • ‘Cats are the main reservoir of Bartonella infection in humans, although other mammals may be infected.’


Mid 17th century: from French réservoir, from réserver ‘to reserve, keep’.