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[wet-land] /ˈwɛtˌlænd/
Often, wetlands. land that has a wet and spongy soil, as a marsh, swamp, or bog.
1770-80; wet + -land Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wetlands
  • For a few months it is wetlands and is protected as a wildlife reserve.
  • The house included constructed wetlands and food gardens to filter water coming from the house.
  • It has devastated twenty-four thousand acres of wetlands, replacing them with open water.
  • Sparkles of light dance off a lagoon, and snowy herons glide over the wetlands.
  • Whether the oil can be kept out of the wetlands all comes down to one thing: the weather.
  • More broadly, biologists are also working to restore fisheries, forests and wetlands.
  • Protecting vulnerable wetlands and migratory paths for wildlife.
  • There is no good fix to prevent oil from washing up on the shorelines and into important wetlands and marshlands.
  • Whether the oil can be kept out of the wetlands comes down to one thing: the weather.
  • Build a ditch along the road and you end up with a wetlands with a whole new ecosystem.
British Dictionary definitions for wetlands


(sometimes pl)
  1. an area of swampy or marshy land, esp considered as part of an ecological system
  2. (as modifier): wetland species
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for wetlands



1743, from wet (adj.) + land (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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wetlands in Science
A low-lying area of land that is saturated with moisture, especially when regarded as the natural habitat of wildlife. Marshes, swamps, and bogs are examples of wetlands. See more at lacustrine, marine, palustrine, riverine.

Our Living Language  : Wetlands are areas such as swamps, bogs, and marshes where water either covers the soil or is present at or near the surface, particularly in the root zone, at least a good portion of the year, including the growing season. In the past, wetlands were generally considered unproductive or undesirable lands—smelly and unhealthful, a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests—and many were filled in to create farmland or to develop land for housing and industrial use. More than half of the original wetlands in the continental United States have disappeared in the name of reclamation, disease prevention, and flood control. Scientists now realize that, far from being noxious barrens, wetlands play a key role in the ecosystem. They act as filters, removing pollutants, including metals, from waters. They serve as reservoirs, and they aid flood and erosion control by absorbing excess water. Wetlands are home to a great variety of plant and animal species, some endangered, that have evolved to live in the wetland's unique conditions. The preservation and, where possible, restoration of these vital habitats has become a primary goal of environmentalists around the world.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for wetlands


terrestrial ecosystem characterized by poor drainage and the consequent presence most or all of the time of sluggishly moving or standing water saturating the soil. Wetlands are usually classified, according to soil and plant life, as bog, marsh, or swamp (qq.v.). Because wetlands occur at the interface of a body of water and the land, they are examples of boundary ecosystems.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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