Share this entry

penstock Line breaks: pen|stock
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛnstɒk/

Definition of penstock in English:


1A sluice for controlling or directing the flow of water.
Example sentences
  • A spokesman for the agency said the penstock sluice gates were opened after the last bout of flooding to allow trapped water to return to the river, but after an ‘oversight’ they were left open.
  • The work will involve the construction of maximum strength earth embankments and masonry walls along the Derwent, as well as the installation of floodgates, penstocks and flood valves.
  • These schemes made use of the flow of water through a series of reservoirs, tunnels, penstocks and power plants.
1.1A channel or pipe for conveying water to a hydroelectric station or waterwheel.
Example sentences
  • We are now putting down pedestals where the penstock pipes will be laid leading to the power house.


Early 17th century: from pen2 (in the sense 'mill dam') + stock.

Words that rhyme with penstock

tailstock • feedstock

Definition of penstock in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources