A more common use (in my experience) than the Webster 1913 definition, is to describe a river or other body of water that is navigable by boat.

Wa"ter*way` (?), n. Naut.

Heavy plank or timber extending fore and aft the whole length of a vessel's deck at the line of junction with the sides, forming a channel to the scuppers, which are cut through it. In iron vessels the waterway is variously constructed.


© Webster 1913.

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