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flood plain

a nearly flat plain along the course of a stream or river that is naturally subject to flooding.
Also, floodplain.
1870-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for floodplain
  • Back then, much of the territory was an immense, waterlogged floodplain.
  • In coming days the water will reach the coast, joining tidal waters and inundating the floodplain.
  • Farmers in the floodplain build houses and barns on stilts and watch pink dolphins sport from their doorsteps.
  • And right around the river, sloping gently down to the lakeshore, was a floodplain of silt and clay.
  • The sandstones were deposited by slow-moving streams gently meandering across a nearly-level floodplain.
  • The country's current floods are far worse because of decades of river and floodplain mismanagement, experts say.
  • For example, a landfill cannot be placed near a wetland, fault or floodplain.
  • One of the newest national parks is actually a floodplain forest that floods about ten times a year.
  • But the bug's breeding ground was a small, restricted type of floodplain habitat.
  • There is an enormous floodplain here that is covered in rice.
British Dictionary definitions for floodplain

flood plain

the flat area bordering a river, composed of sediment deposited during flooding
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for floodplain

also flood plain, 1873, from flood (n.) + plain (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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floodplain in Science
Flat land bordering a river and made up of alluvium (sand, silt, and clay) deposited during floods. When a river overflows, the floodplain is covered with water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for floodplain

flat land area adjacent to a stream, composed of unconsolidated sedimentary deposits (alluvium) and subject to periodic inundation by the stream. Floodplains are produced by lateral movement of a stream and by overbank deposition; therefore they are absent where downcutting is dominant. Any erosional widening of one bank is approximately equalled by deposition on the opposite side of the channel in the form of bar development along the inside of meander bends. Thus, the simplest floodplain is made up of a strip of sinuous scrolls immediately adjacent to the stream.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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