All the vocabulary that you are likely to encounter when studying the geography topic of rivers. Complete with the correct geography definition. From mouths and meanders to waterfalls and watersheds, we have all the river words you will need to know, explained in full, right here.

Geography topics for you to learn and enjoy

Rivers vocabulary

alluvium

channel

condensation

cross-section

current

dams

 

– sometimes called silt. Fine soil left behind after a river floods.

- where a river flows. It has a bed and two banks.

- the process by which water vapour changes to liquid when cooled.

- a view at right-angles across a landform.

- the flow of water in a certain direction.

- a barrier constructed across a waterway to control the flow or raise the level of water.

The mouth of  a river is where the river meets the sea. 

river words with their definitions | rivers vocabulary | rivers geography

deforestation

deposition

downstream

drainage basin

embankments

erosion

evaporation

 

– the cutting down or burning of trees to clear large areas of land.

- the laying down of material carried by rivers.

- in the direction of a stream's current.

- a drainage basin is the area of land drained by a river and its tributaries.

- a raised river bank to prevent flooding.

- the wearing away and removal of rocks by rivers.

- the process by which liquid water changes to water vapour when it is warmed.

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River words | river vocabulary | free to download | KS2 Geography

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A dam placed across a river or canal to raise or divert the water, or to regulate the flow.

river words with their definitions | rivers vocabulary | rivers geography
flash floods
 
flood plain
 
flood prevention schemes
flooding
 
gorge
groundwater

- a sudden and unexpected flood that can cause much damage.

- the flat area at the bottom of a valley which is often flooded. 

- a plan to try to stop flooding by either rivers or the sea.

- an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry.

- a steep sided valley.

- fresh water stored in rocks and the soil. it may pass slowly through the rocks and soil back to the sea.

river words with their definitions | rivers vocabulary | rivers geography

Streams start off as small trickles of water in areas of highland.

load

lower course

meander

middle course

mouth

– the material carried by a river.

- the third of a rover closest to its mouth.

- a large bend in a river

- the middle third of a river.

- where the river meets the sea or lake.

river words with their definitions | rivers vocabulary | geography rivers

Rivers are not fixed in place and change their course over time. 

plunge pool

precipitation

river



river basin

river banks

river bed

river cliff

– a hollow at the base of a waterfall caused by erosion.

- water in any form which falls to earth. It includes rain, sleet, hail and snow.

- a large natural stream of water emptying into an ocean, lake, or other body of water and usually fed along its course by converging tributaries.

- an area of land drained by a river and its tributaries.

- the sides of the river channel.

- the base of the river channel.

- the steep slope cut into the valley side by erosion on the outside of a river bend.

river words with their definitions | rivers vocabulary | rivers geography

silt 

source

spurs

surface water

transpiration

transportation

tributary

upper course

– fine soil, left behind after a river floods. Also called 'alluvium'.

- where a river begins.

a small ridge that projects sharply from the side of a larger hill or mountain.

- water which lies on top of, or flows over, the ground.  

- the process by which water from plants changes into water vapour.

- the movement of material by rivers.

- a small river which flows into a bigger river.

the third of a river closest to the source of the river.

river words with their definitions | rivers vocabulary | rivers geography

upstream

urbanisation

v-shaped valley

water cycle

waterfalls

watershed

– in the opposite direction of the stream's current.

- the growing proportion of people living in urban areas.

- a valley which has been eroded by a river so that its cross-section looks like the letter V.

- the never-ending movement of water between the sea, the land and the air. 

- a sudden fall of water over a steep drop.

- the boundary between two river basins.

RIVER WORDS

Geography topics for you to learn and enjoy