1. A narrow gorge, usually with a stream flowing through it.
2. An open artificial channel or chute carrying a stream of water, as for furnishing power or conveying logs.
3. A very small swimming pool designed with a propeller or pump to generate a current, allowing a swimmer to swim in place.
[Middle English flum, river, from Old French, from Latin flūmen, from fluere, to flow; see bhleu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.