Definition of flood in English:

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Pronunciation: /flʌd/


1An overflow of a large amount of water beyond its normal limits, especially over what is normally dry land: the villagers had been cut off by floods and landslides [as modifier]: a flood barrier
More example sentences
  • The main cause of flooding in the city centre is the use of flood barriers beyond the city centre.
  • ‘We don't know whether the bridge can cope with that amount of water during a flood and it could eventually collapse,’ he said.
  • Areas on the map are given low, moderate or significant risk ratings according to their location, the predicted water levels and the flood defences in place.
inundation, swamping, deluge;
torrent, overflow, flash flood, freshet;
downpour, cloudburst;
British  spate
1.1 (the Flood) The biblical flood brought by God upon the earth because of the wickedness of the human race (Gen. 6 ff.).
Example sentences
  • This changed only at the Flood, where God told Noah.
  • There was the Flood, for example, in Noah's time.
  • When asked about the Flood and Noah's Ark, he said that that was a myth.
1.2The inflow of the tide.
Example sentences
  • Caused by a tall underwater pinnacle, the effect is most evident when a strong westerly wind catches a flood or ebb tide.
  • Yarmouth North Beach is an ebb tide mark, Caister produces fish on both flood and ebb tides, but any beach will give cod in the right conditions.
  • Additional samples were collected near Nauset Inlet on flood and ebb tides and during the day and night at Nauset Harbor and Town Cove stations.
1.3 literary A river, stream, or sea.
2An outpouring of tears: she burst into floods of tears
More example sentences
  • The other was a vision of a grown up man in floods of tears because, just having bought a brand new Pentax camera tax free, he had started to photograph one of the apes, which promptly grabbed the camera and tossed it down the cliff!
  • And when Percy came to the apartment at 10: 00 in the morning to work with me on his computer, I was in floods of tears.
  • But outside, despite the floods of tears by both pupils and parents, they said they refused to give up the fight and that they would be looking at all the options available to them to save the school.
outpouring, torrent, rush, stream, gush, surge, cascade, flow
2.1An overwhelming quantity of things or people happening or appearing at the same time: his column provoked a flood of complaints floods of tourists come each year to marvel at the sights
More example sentences
  • Accurate or not, the flood of bad news appears to be reaching some kind of crescendo.
  • Another overlooked source of capital outflow comes from the flood of tourists visiting Hong Kong and other favourite destinations such as Bangkok and Singapore.
  • The first thing that needs to happen to create a flood of referrals into your personal training department is that you need to earn them.
succession, series, string, chain;
barrage, volley, battery;
avalanche, torrent, stream, tide, spate, storm, shower, cascade, wave, rush, outpouring
3 short for floodlight.
Example sentences
  • The whitewashed walls glowed eerily in the light refracted from the flood lamps through the rain.
  • His eyes adjusted to the lack of light automatically, and he was able to see details as if they were under the light of a flood lamp.


[with object]
1Cover or submerge (an area) with water in a flood: the dam burst, flooding a small town (as noun flooding) a serious risk of flooding
More example sentences
  • During the incident water flooded an area that is beside the huge batteries that power the diesel-electric submarine.
  • Rashid said flooding the area with water was not the only goal of his ministry.
  • Cold water flooded the area, and Mira found herself panicking a little.
inundate, swamp, deluge, immerse, submerge, drown, engulf
1.1 [no object] Become covered or submerged by a flood: part of the vessel flooded figurative Sarah’s eyes flooded with tears
More example sentences
  • Elected officials also had to clear up deliberately blocked toilets as the floors flooded with urine.
  • The holds and engine room flooded, she was abandoned and later caught fire, at some stage breaking in two.
  • As she fired, two bombs struck her, one causing the engine room to flood, and the second crashed into the galley setting it ablaze.
1.2 (usually be flooded out) (Of a flood) force (someone) to leave their home.
Example sentences
  • A few days after Conrad left, Louis and his people were flooded out by a storm, their tents and baggage and even some people washed away by a flooding stream.
  • Householders in the Cameron Grove, Butcher Terrace and Terry Street area were flooded out in the November disaster.
  • Anyone who has been flooded out of their home is anxious to get back to ordinary life as soon as possible.
1.3(Of a river) become swollen and overflow (its banks).
Example sentences
  • In Pennsylvania heavy rains caused rivers and streams to flood their banks.
  • Water poured down from the mountain, feeding the gasping river, which promptly flooded its banks.
  • Many Poles recalled the devastating floods of 1997 when torrential rain then caused the river Oder to flood its banks.
overflow, burst its banks, brim over, run over
rare overbrim, disembogue
2Fill or suffuse completely: she flooded the room with light [no object, with adverbial of direction]: sunlight flooded in at the windows
More example sentences
  • Sunlight flooded the previously dingy room, illuminating the slightly discolored spots on the carpet and the ugly brown wallpaper.
  • An intrusive coldness suffused my arteries, flooded my veins, scalloped my core in ice.
  • He awed at the power flooding his senses, filling him with unsurpassed might.
2.1Overfill the carburettor of (an engine) with petrol, causing the engine to fail to start.
Example sentences
  • Is this an acceleration effect, like flooding the engine with petrol before starting a journey, or is it an unsustainable curve?
  • Do this before hooking up the fuel system to avoid flooding the engine with fuel.
  • He tried to start several more times but eventually he could smell the faint smell of gasoline meaning that he had flooded the engine.
3 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Arrive in overwhelming amounts or quantities: congratulatory messages flooded in figurative his old fears came flooding back
More example sentences
  • Unprecedented amounts of donations are flooding into the various aid agencies and everyone is more than willing to lend financial support to the relief effort.
  • With vast amounts of money flooding into the country, interest rates quickly began to converge with those in Germany even before the launch of the euro.
  • There was a full moon tonight and a moderate amount of moonlight flooded through the window.
pour, stream, surge, swarm, pile, crowd, throng
3.1 [with object] Overwhelm with large amounts or quantities: our switchboard was flooded with calls
More example sentences
  • Investors are worried that if the issuer were to choose the share option, the market could be flooded with shares, making it difficult to convert them to cash.
  • With the prices of handsets getting slashed week after week, the market is flooded with a wide range of latest models to choose from, depending on one's personal need.
  • In a country with such a long tradition of corruption, one need not be a fortune-teller to predict that soon the black market will be flooded with such language diplomas.
glut, swamp, saturate, oversupply, overfill, overload, overwhelm
4 [no object] (Of a woman) experience a uterine haemorrhage.


be in (full) flood

(Of a river) be overflowing its banks.
Example sentences
  • The agency's regional flood defence committee backed the scheme to provide a dedicated outfall from the Riccall Ings washlands which can hold nearly two billion gallons of water when the river is in flood.
  • In the 12 th century Queen Matilda came riding from London to Barking Forest for a spot of hunting only to get a soaking because the river was in flood, and so she ordered a bridge to be built instead.
  • The search was launched but it became immediately apparent that conditions were very dangerous as the river was in flood and the water visibility was down to just six inches.
(be in full flood)1.1 Be progressing or talking vigorously or enthusiastically: discussion was already in full flood and refused to be dammed she was in full flood about the glories of bicycling
More example sentences
  • He was in full flood when the chairman of the committee stopped him with the words, "You are not a member of this committee, John. You are not entitled to speak!"
  • At which point certain members of the audience could restrain themselves no longer and began to heckle and then question these assertions whilst he was in full flood.


Old English flōd, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vloed and German Flut, also to flow.

Words that rhyme with flood

blood, bud, crud, cud, dud, Judd, mud, rudd, scud, spud, stud, sudd, thud

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: flood

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