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[spil-wey] /ˈspɪlˌweɪ/
a passageway through which surplus water escapes from a reservoir, lake, or the like.
Origin of spillway
1885-90; spill1 + way1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spillway
  • During that period, the hydro power was turned down causing excess water to go over the spillway.
  • In the video, several people are cruising in a small motorboat below the spillway of a lock or a dam while fish fly all around.
  • Water that goes over a spillway as opposed to through a turbine picks up bubbles of nitrogen gas from the atmosphere.
  • The spillway is designed to provide a safe path for the excess flows.
  • Then, water from the spillway re-enters downstream of the dam.
British Dictionary definitions for spillway


a channel that carries away surplus water, as from a dam Also called wasteweir, spill
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 spillway

1889, from spill + way.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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