n. (correctly spelled fresh water) - Water in which the concentration of dissolved salt is below levels detectable by the human taste buds, which is less than 0.5 parts per thousand (ppt).

Fresh-water bodies include lakes, rivers, most bodies of underground water known as aquifers, and the water frozen in glaciers and polar icecaps. The ultimate source of fresh water is the precipitation of the atmosphere in the form of rain, snow, sleet or hail.

Only about 3 to 5% of the water on Earth (i.e., in the atmosphere, on the surface and inside the crust) is fresh water, and most that fresh water lies frozen in glaciers and polar icecaps.

The adjective that describes something about fresh water, or an organism living in fresh water, is correctly spelled freshwater.

Fresh"-wa`ter (?), a.


Of, pertaining to, or living in, water not salt; as, fresh-water geological deposits; a fresh-water fish; fresh-water mussels.


Accustomed to sail on fresh water only; unskilled as a seaman; as, a fresh-water sailor.


Unskilled; raw.

[Colloq.] "Fresh-water soldiers."



© Webster 1913.

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