The word reservoir refers to a place where large amounts of water get stored. It can also be used to describe great amounts of other things, such as when you refer to a trivia expert as a reservoir of useless knowledge.

The word reservoir comes from the French réservoir, which further derives from the Old French reserver, meaning "to reserve." Knowing this, it makes sense that the meaning evolved into a place, either man-made or natural, where water is stored or "reserved," usually for distribution for drinking, irrigating, and generating power. Remembering the related word reserve might also help in both the spelling and pronunciation of the word, as reserve is spelled (and pronounced) with "er," the same as "reservoir."

Definitions of reservoir
  1. noun
    lake used to store water for community use
    synonyms: artificial lake, man-made lake
    see moresee less
    Lake Mead
    the largest reservoir in the United States; located in southeastern Nevada and northwestern Arizona and formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River; the center of a recreational area
    Lake Powell
    the second largest reservoir in the United States; located in southern Utah and north central Arizona and formed by the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River
    Lake Volta
    the Volta river in southeastern has been dammed to create one of the world's largest man-made lakes
    type of:
    a body of (usually fresh) water surrounded by land
  2. noun
    tank used for collecting and storing a liquid (as water or oil)
    see moresee less
    show 5 types...
    hide 5 types...
    an artificial reservoir for storing liquids; especially an underground tank for storing rainwater
    an oil reservoir in an internal combustion engine
    water tower
    a large reservoir for water
    cesspit, cesspool, sink, sump
    a covered cistern; waste water and sewage flow into it
    rain barrel
    a barrel used as a cistern to hold rainwater
    type of:
    storage tank, tank
    a large (usually metallic) vessel for holding gases or liquids
  3. noun
    a large or extra supply of something
    “a reservoir of talent”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    an amount of something available for use
  4. noun
    anything (a person or animal or plant or substance) in which an infectious agent normally lives and multiplies
    “an infectious agent depends on a reservoir for its survival”
    synonyms: source
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a separate and self-contained entity
Word Family