Definition of reservoir in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈrɛzəvwɑː/


1A large natural or artificial lake used as a source of water supply: the more water we use, the more land has to be flooded for reservoirs
More example sentences
  • Some hover above fresh water lakes or reservoirs.
  • Herbicides and other pesticides can reach streams, lakes, and reservoirs in water that runs off treated fields.
  • If more reservoirs or artificial lakes are needed, they should be built.
pool, lake, pond;
water supply
technical waterbody
Scottish  loch;
Indian & Australian/New Zealand  tank;
Mexican Spanish cenote
1.1A supply or source of something: Scotland has always had a fine reservoir of comic talent
More example sentences
  • The bank, as a reservoir of funds, borrows amounts deposited with it by its customer and pays them out as his agent.
  • Others have shown interest in the unconscious mind as a reservoir of universal truths or a place where the ‘true self’ dwells.
  • Michael will always be remembered for his wit, his sense of fun and his great reservoir of information about all things regarding the Stephenites.
stock, store, stockpile, reserve(s), supply, accumulation, bank, pool, fund;
cache, hoard
1.2 [usually with modifier] A place where fluid collects, especially in rock strata or in the body: big oil reservoirs are becoming harder to find
More example sentences
  • This article is geared primarily to individuals, students as well as professionals, who are relatively new to carbonate diagenesis and petroleum reservoir rocks.
  • Carrier-bed rocks are lithologically the same as reservoir rocks, that is, sandstones, limestones, or fractured rocks of all types.
  • The low water contents strongly suggest that the erupted tephras were derived from a shallow magma reservoir or reservoirs.
1.3A receptacle or part of a machine designed to hold fluid: if all three colours overlap then a black dot is printed from the black ink reservoir
More example sentences
  • Engineering machine metal-cutting fluid reservoirs are used as coolants and lubricants in metal machining processes.
  • Remember to top up the windscreen washer fluid reservoirs - new anti-freeze windscreen solutions are widely available
  • At present, oil operators have to pump the well fluid from a sub-sea reservoir to a production platform, where the mixture is separated into oil and water.
receptacle, container, holder, repository, tank;
2 Medicine A population, tissue, etc. which is chronically infested with the causative agent of a disease and can act as a source of further infection: there is a vast reservoir of herpes infection in the community
More example sentences
  • Our results provide further support for the hypothesis that the male genital tract may serve as a reservoir of HPV infection.
  • Shigellosis is a highly contagious disease caused by Shigella spp. and humans are the principal reservoir of infection.
  • Asymptomatic young men are an important reservoir for infection and are less likely than women to be detected in the course of usual care.


Mid 17th century: from French réservoir, from réserver 'to reserve, keep'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: res¦er|voir

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.