[waw-ter-spout, wot-er-]
Also called rainspout. a pipe running down the side of a house or other building to carry away water from the gutter of the roof.
a spout, duct, or the like, from which water is discharged.
a funnel-shaped or tubular portion of a cloud over the ocean or other body of water that, laden with mist and spray, resembles a solid column of water reaching upward to the cloud from which it hangs. Compare tornado ( def 1 ).

1350–1400; 1730–40 for def 3; Middle English; see water, spout

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
waterspout (ˈwɔːtəˌspaʊt)
1.  meteorol
 a.  a tornado occurring over water that forms a column of water and mist extending between the surface and the clouds above
 b.  a sudden downpour of heavy rain
2.  a pipe or channel through which water is discharged, esp one used for drainage from the gutters of a roof

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "drainpipe," from water (n.1) + spout. Meaning "whirlwind on open water" is recorded from 1738.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a small-diameter column of rapidly swirling air in contact with a water surface. Waterspouts are almost always produced by a swiftly growing cumulus cloud. They may assume many shapes and often occur in a series, called a waterspout family, produced by the same upward-moving air current. Waterspouts are closely related to other atmospheric phenomena such as tornadoes, whirlwinds, and fire storms.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It often twists around and the bottom of the waterspout may move out from under the cloud.
He tried to swim upward but the waterspout pulled at his backpack and clothes.
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