A column of water formed between the clouds and the sea by the action of a whirlwind. It begins as a funnel-shaped cloud, which descends slowly till it meets a conical body of water rising from the sea. After a time the waterspout bursts. Some authorities think that the water in the column is made up largely of rain gathered by the whirlwind into a small space. Waterspouts are most common in the tropics.
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