riverbed

[riv-er-bed]
noun
the channel in which a river flows or formerly flowed.

Origin:
1825–35; river1 + bed

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
The forelimb would have allowed the animal to propel itself along the bottom of
  the riverbed or elevate its head out of the water.
But only a dry, dusty riverbed was to be seen, cordoned off by a fence and
  metal gate.
Normally the water was so clear he could see straight to the rocky riverbed.
The seamed and arid face, a slowly eroding riverbed, is as wide open as a
  gap-toothed grin.
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