from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical, the water which eddies about a ship's stern during her progress. Also called eddy-water.
  • n. The water which is below the level of the heating-surface in an internally fired steam-boiler, the circulation in this part of the boiler being very slow.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • These twenty miles of the Penobscot, between Moosehead and Chesuncook Lakes, are comparatively smooth, and a great part dead-water; but from time to time it is shallow and rapid, with rocks or gravel-beds, where you can wade across.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 08, June 1858

  • At starlight we dropped down the stream, which was a dead-water for three miles, or as far as the Moosehorn; Joe telling us that we must be very silent, and he himself making no noise with his paddle, while he urged the canoe along with effective impulses.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 08, June 1858

  • He was in dead-water, and the parti-colored, fantastic cranks swam about his boat, as though he were the ancient mariner, and they saurians of the prime.

    Eccentricity (1863)

  • DRIFTING in the dead-water of the fin-de-siècle, —and during this last decade every one talked, and seemed to feel fin-de-siècle, —where not a breath stirred the idle air of education or fretted the mental torpor of self-content, one lived alone.

    Chicago (1893)

  • THE CONVULSION of 1893 left its victims in dead-water, and closed much education.

    Silence (1894–1898)

  • It was half a mile to the river proper, and the rails of the corduroy road-bed had floated and made navigation difficult, but we were yet in dead-water and could take our time.

    With Sabre and Scalpel. The Autobiography of a Soldier and Surgeon

  • The dead-water lasted for several miles; then the river sloped into a rapid, spread through a net of islands, and broke over a ledge in a cataract.

    Little Rivers; a book of essays in profitable idleness

  • And they buck like ugly cattle where the broad dead-water crawls;

    The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VI. (of X.)

  • There was a light breeze from the south, and the boat ran rapidly along before it till it was again abreast of the village, then she was put about and made short tacks in the dead-water.

    Condemned as a Nihilist A Story of Escape from Siberia

  • No one would think of descending the river when the Beni and the Madeira are in flood, except by doing as we are doing now, keeping in the dead-water, or, if in canoes, making their way through the submerged forests.

    With Cochrane the Dauntless


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