backwater

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n backwater a place or condition in which no development or progress is occurring "the country is an economic backwater"
    • n backwater a body of water that was created by a flood or tide or by being held or forced back by a dam "the bayous and backwaters are breeding grounds for mosquitos"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Backwater An accumulation of water overflowing the low lands, caused by an obstruction.
    • Backwater Water thrown back by the turning of a waterwheel, or by the paddle wheels of a steamer.
    • Backwater Water turned back in its course by an obstruction, an opposing current, or the flow of the tide, as in a sewer or river channel, or across a river bar.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n backwater Water flowing in from behind.
    • n backwater Water thrown back by the turning of a water-wheel or the paddles of steamboats, etc.
    • n backwater Water held or forced back, as in a mill-race or in a tributary stream, in consequence of some obstruction, as a dam or flood.
    • n backwater An artificial accumulation of water obtained at high tide and reserved in reservoirs, to be discharged at low tide for clearing off deposits in channel-beds and tideways.
    • n backwater A creek or arm of the sea which runs parallel to the coast, having only a narrow slip of land between it and the sea, and communicating with the latter by barred entrances.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Backwater water held back in a mill-stream or river by the obstruction of a dam below—a pool or belt of water connected with a river, but not in the line of its course or current: water thrown back by the turning of a water-wheel: a backward current of water: the swell of the sea formed by the paddles of a steamship
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Back, a. or adv. + -water,.
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. bæc, Sw. bak, Dan. bag.

Usage

In literature:

It seemed so homelike, so shut away, so comforting, like a sheltered little backwater where a storm-beaten craft might lie snug.
"Fair Harbor" by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
Two stretches were filled with backwater.
"Laramie Holds the Range" by Frank H. Spearman
It stood in a backwater where the busy tide of seafaring traffic passed it by.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
Gradually the boat was worked toward shore and poled into the backwater of submerged beaver meadow.
"The Promise" by James B. Hendryx
Here's our backwater at last, where we're going to lunch.
"The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame
The underlying principle of a world's backwater like this is restful stagnation.
"The Belovéd Vagabond" by William J. Locke
But like many another man as brave and as willing, he had been caught in one of the war's backwaters, and had been stationed at Fort Sill.
"Battling the Clouds" by Captain Frank Cobb
At last only fourteen of the English were left alive and they got hopelessly penned in a backwater.
"Round the Wonderful World" by G. E. Mitton
His antics were comical in the extreme if a vole eluded him by diving to the lower entrance of its burrow beneath the surface of a backwater.
"Creatures of the Night" by Alfred W. Rees
Another was caught in the backwater.
"The Cariboo Trail" by Agnes C. Laut
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In poetry:

Hot honey of the pines is sweet,
And when the day's at three o'clock heat
A winding walk will you invite
To a new garden out of sight.
And a green seat is set so near
The sluggish, stealing backwater.
"The Garden" by Katharine Tynan

In news:

A revolution in quality pie has transformed Washington from a pizza backwater to a leading light.
Just got off the phone with the EPA in Atlanta, and, according to a media representative, there is no one there who is an expert on the Yazoo Backwater Project.
Yazoo Backwater Levee will be overtopped.
Every time Texas begins to feel like some remote backwater -- say, during a presidential campaign.
Not long ago saltwater fans in search of a flounder had to drive to the backwaters and inlets of the Atlantic Ocean.
ABA award winner sees evolution in former backwater.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – ArtPrize is a carnivalesque bit of performance art in a provincial setting, created by the ultraconservative DeVos family, who dangled a jackpot of money to build cultural cachet in a flyover -country backwater.
Long an economic backwater, the world's most populous country is becoming a powerhouse with global economic clout.
In the very best way possible, Kotor, Montenegro is a veritable backwater.
In northwest Indiana, where I have raised vegetables for 20-odd years, mosquitoes flourish when rain fills the swamp pools in the backwaters of the Kankakee River.
The public is invited to join Dakota elders for a "Summer of Paddling " event that will take place Saturday on the backwaters of the Mississippi River.
Lansing isn't Singapore or Istanbul, but it's no culinary backwater, either.
We are too far away to see if Kota the predictor has gotten in on the afternoon flurry, but things are certainly looking up in this backwater.
The wrong place was Scandinavia , which was destined to be a World War II backwater.
Another sight -fishing expert who enjoys success in protected backwaters is Alan Caolo, author of Sight -Fishing for Striped Bass.
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In science:

Following this was a period of Hibernation (1920–1960) during which theoretical work temporarily outstripped technology and experimental possibilities, and, as a consequence the field stagnated and was relegated to the backwaters of physics and astronomy.
The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment
Following this was a period of Hibernation (1920–1960) during which theoretical work temporarily outstripped technology and experimental possibilities, and, as a consequence, the field stagnated and was relegated to the backwaters of physics and astronomy.
The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment
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