Geography: terms: river vs stream

Self-tutoring about geography: the tutor mentions a possible difference between river and stream.

I hear the term “stream”, referring to a water body, much less than the term “river.” What might be the difference?

According to, the terms stream, creek, and brook have a similar meaning, and it’s different from the term river. In particular, a river is a permanent waterflow whose path will more or less remain the same. Moreover, a river will typically be found in its own valley. A creek, brook, or stream, on the other hand, may be a temporary flow of water whose course may vary. It likely won’t have carved out a valley for itself.

In Nova Scotia, as a kid, I heard the terms “river” and “brook.” Nothing local was called a “creek.”

I’ve lived in places where small waterflows dried up in the summer, but am trying to recall a case of a larger one that regularly did so.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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