backwater

Backwater is water that’s stagnant and out of the current. It’s a still pool created by a dam or a curve in the river. If a small town is described as backwater, then not much happens or changes there.

The word backwater has been around since the 14th Century meaning “water behind a dam.” Now it refers to any flat water, not just the water behind a dam. Backwater can also describe a place or situation that seems stuck in a rut, unmoved by current events. Literally, backwater is water that’s away from the current; figuratively, backwater is a place that’s away from current events.

Primary Meanings of backwater

1.
n
a body of water that was created by a flood or tide or by being held or forced back by a dam
2.
n
a place or condition in which no development or progress is occurring
Full Definitions of backwater
1

n a body of water that was created by a flood or tide or by being held or forced back by a dam

“the bayous and backwaters are breeding grounds for mosquitos”
Type of:
body of water, water
the part of the earth's surface covered with water (such as a river or lake or ocean)
2

n a place or condition in which no development or progress is occurring

“the country is an economic backwater
Type of:
region
a large indefinite location on the surface of the Earth

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