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Garden pond near Niagara Falls.
A pond in central Europe
A small man-made garden pond at the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, India
Formal rock garden pond with waterfall.
Pond in winter
An Australian rock pond. Heathcote National Park
338 acre Long Pond in the Saint Regis Canoe Area in the Adirondack Mountains
Artificial pond stocked with pond fish
Artificial pond siutated in the (new) Botanical Garden in Zürich
Pond in Uster

A pond is a body of standing water, either natural or man-made, that is usually smaller than a lake. A wide variety of man-made bodies of water are classified as ponds, including water gardens designed for aesthetic ornamentation, fish ponds designed for commercial fish breeding, and solar ponds designed to store thermal energy.

Ponds and lakes are distinguished from streams via current speed. While currents in streams are easily observed, ponds and lakes possess thermally driven microcurrents and moderate wind driven currents. These features distinguish a pond from many other aquatic terrain features, such as stream pools and tide pools.


Technical definitions

The technical distinction between a pond and a lake has not been universally standardized. Limnologists and freshwater biologists have proposed formal definitions for pond, in part to include 'bodies of water where light penetrates to the bottom of the waterbody,' 'bodies of water shallow enough for rooted water plants to grow throughout,' and 'bodies of water which lack wave action on the shoreline.' Each of these definitions have met with resistance or disapproval, as the defining characteristics are each difficult to measure or verify. Accordingly, some organizations and researchers have settled on technical definitions of pond and lake which rely on size alone.[1]

Even among organizations and researchers who distinguish lakes from ponds by size alone, there is no universally recognised standard for the maximum size of a pond. The international Ramsar wetland convention sets the upper limit for pond size as 8 hectares (19.768 acres),[2] but biologists have not universally adopted this convention. Researchers for the British charity Pond Conservation have defined a pond to be 'a man-made or natural waterbody which is between 1 m2 and 20,000 m2 in area (~2 ha or ~5 acres), which holds water for four months of the year or more.'[3] Other European biologists have set the upper size limit at 5 ha (12.355 acres).[4] In North America, even larger bodies of water have been called ponds; for example, Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts measures 62 acres (~25 ha).


Ponds can result from a wide range of natural processes, although in many parts of the world these are now severely constrained by human activity. Any depression in the ground which collects and retains a sufficient amount of precipitation can be considered a pond, and such depressions can be formed by a variety of geological and ecological events.


In origin, pond is a variant form of the word pound, meaning a confining enclosure.[5] As straying cattle are enclosed in a pound so water is enclosed in a pond. In earlier times, ponds were man-made and utilitarian; as stew ponds, mill ponds and so on. The significance of this feature seems in some cases, to have been lost when the word was carried abroad with emigrants so that in places like the United States, natural pools are often called ponds.

A pond is sometimes characterized as being a small body of water that is shallow enough for sunlight to reach the bottom, permitting the growth of rooted plants at its deepest point. [6]

Pond usually implies a quite small body of water, generally smaller than one would require a boat to cross. Another definition is that a pond is a body of water where even its deepest areas are reached by sunlight or where a human can walk across the entire body of water without being submerged. In some dialects of English, pond normally refers to small artificially created bodies of water.

Some regions of the United States define a pond as a body of water with a surface area of less than 10 acres (40,000 m²).[citation needed]

Regional differences include the use of the word pond in New England, and Maine in particular, for relatively large water bodies. For example a Great Pond in Maine is considered to be at least 10 acres (41,240 m²) in area.[7]

In areas which were covered by glaciers in the past, some ponds were created when the glaciers retreated. These ponds are known as kettle ponds. Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts is a well known example. Kettle ponds are usually quite deep and clean because they are fed by underground aquifers rather than surface streams.

The term is also used for temporary accumulation of water from surface runoff (ponded water).

There are various regional names for naturally occurring ponds. In Scotland, one of the terms is lochan, which may also apply to a large body of water such as a lake.

The word "pond" is sometimes also used to refer to the Atlantic Ocean in the expression "across the pond", and the expression "big pond" similarly is sometimes used for the Pacific. These uses are deliberate idiomatic understatements.

Ponds' calm waters are ideal for insects and other water dwelling invertebrates. This includes the pondskater, the water boatman, the diving beetle, the whirligig beetle and the water scorpion.


Some ponds have no surface outflow draining off water and ponds are often spring-fed. Hence, because of the closed environment of ponds, such small bodies of water normally develop self contained ecosystems.


In the Indian subcontinent, Hindu temples usually have a pond nearby so that pilgrims can take baths. These ponds are considered sacred. In medieval times in Europe, it was typical for many monastery and castles (small, partly self-sufficient communities) to have fish ponds. These are still common in Europe and in East Asia (notably Japan), where koi may be kept.

Another use is in agriculture. In agriculture, treatment ponds combined with irrigation reservoirs are used as a self-purifying irrigation reservoir to allow irrigation at times of drought.

Tobha is Punjabi name for village pond. Every village in Punjab (India) essentially has a pond, into which the drainage of village is forced. Buffalos and other village animals take bath in village pond during summers. Tobha is really an object of entertainment for village people, where children also learn to swim and play.

The small pond in (bog) or mountain is called "池塘" (chitō?) in [Japan] and is discriminate from the pond in the plain and widely recognized by mountaineers.


Thousands of examples worldwide are available to illustrate the pond; a few of these are:

See also


Terrestrial biomes
Taiga, Boreal forests
Montane grasslands and shrublands
Temperate coniferous forests
Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests
Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests
Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub
Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests
Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
Deserts and xeric shrublands
Flooded grasslands and savannas
Aquatic biomes
Littoral, Intertidal zone
Mangrove forest
Kelp forest
Coral reef
Neritic zone
Continental shelf
Pelagic zone
Benthic zone
Hydrothermal vents
Cold seeps
Pack ice
Other biomes
Endolithic zone


  1. ^ Biggs J., Williams P., Whitfield M., Nicolet P. and Weatherby, A. (2005). 15 years of pond assessment in Britain: results and lessons learned from the work of Pond Conservation. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 15: 693-714.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Biggs J., Williams P., Whitfield M., Nicolet P. and Weatherby, A. (2005). 15 years of pond assessment in Britain: results and lessons learned from the work of Pond Conservation. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 15: 693-714.
  4. ^ Céréghino, R., J. Biggs, B. Oertli, and S. Declerck. 2008. The ecology of European ponds: Defining the characteristics of a neglected freshwater habitat. Hydrobiologia 597:1-6.
  5. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  6. ^ But mere may be thought a better term for this.
  7. ^

Further reading

  • W.H. MacKenzie and J.R. Moran (2004). "Wetlands of British Columbia: A Guide to Identification. Ministry of Forests, Land Management Handbook 52. [1]

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

POND, a small pool or body of standing water, a word often applied to one for which the bed has been artificially constructed. The word is a variant of "pound", an enclosure.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to pond article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:




Variant of pound.


A pond



pond (plural ponds)

  1. An inland body of standing water, either natural or man-made, that is smaller than a lake.
  2. (colloquial) The Atlantic Ocean. Especially in across the pond.


Derived terms



to pond

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to pond (third-person singular simple present ponds, present participle ponding, simple past and past participle ponded)

  1. To block the flow of water so that it can escape only through evaporation or seepage; to dam.
    • 2004, Calvin W. Rose, An Introduction to the Environmental Physics of Soil, Water and Watersheds [1], ISBN 0521536790, page 201:
    The rate of fall of the surface of water ponded over the soil within the ring gives a measure of the infiltration rate for the particular enclosed area.





pond n

  1. 500 gram


pond n

  1. Pound (currency)


Verb form


  1. third person singular present of pondre: she lays

Simple English

A pond is a body of water smaller than a lake. Ponds support a very wide range of wildlife: ducks, turtles, swans, small fish, and frogs can live in a pond. Usually, in most ponds sunlight can reach to bottom. In some cases ponds do not last all year round. This type of pond is called a vernal pond, or ephemeral, seasonal, or temporary wetlands. These types of ponds do not have any fish.


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