World English Dictionary
catchment area
1.  catchment basin, drainage area, Also called: drainage basin the area of land bounded by watersheds draining into a river, basin, or reservoir
2.  the area from which people are allocated to a particular school, hospital, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
catchment area   (kāch'mənt, kěch'-)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The area drained by a river or body of water.

  2. The area that absorbs water that contributes to a specific region's groundwater supply.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica

catchment area

area from which all precipitation flows to a single stream or set of streams. For example, the total area drained by the Mississippi River constitutes its drainage basin, whereas that part of the Mississippi River drained by the Ohio River is the Ohio's drainage basin. The boundary between drainage basins is a drainage divide: all the precipitation on opposite sides of a drainage divide will flow into different drainage basins.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The popular systems have three major components: the catchment area, the collection device, and the conveyance system.
Because it was unable to supply big new customers, companies have tended to set up new factories outside its catchment area.
The catchment area, the observation field, become saturated.
Establishes requirements for rainwater and storm water retention, detention, and catchment area pond inspection and safety.
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