drainage basin

the area drained by a river and all its tributaries. Also called catchment area, drainage area. Compare watershed ( def 2 ).

1880–85, Americanism

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World English Dictionary
drainage basin or drainage area
another name for catchment area
drainage area or drainage area

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
drainage basin   (drā'nĭj)  Pronunciation Key 
An area drained by a river system. A drainage basin includes all areas that gather precipitation water and direct it to a particular stream, stream system, lake, or other body of standing water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica

drainage basin

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
It represents, of course, the extent to which the general level of the surface of the river's drainage basin is annually lowered.
Every river is part of a network of watersheds that make up a river system's entire drainage basin.
Topographic maps were also used to delineate wetland and vegetation coverage, and drainage basin size.
The answer to this question is your watershed address, the drainage basin where you live.
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