the channel and adjacent shore areas under water during a flood, especially as determined for a flood of a given height.

1885–90; flood + way

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
floodway   (flŭd'wā')  Pronunciation Key 
A channel for an overflow of water caused by flooding.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Permissible uses within flood plain but outside floodway.
It should be noted that floodway revision is a lengthy process and should be
  avoided when possible.
Fill is prohibited within the floodway unless it has been demonstrated that it
  will not result in any increase in flood levels.
The floodplain consists of two areas: the floodway and the floodway fringe.
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