What do you call water staying on a field which is not from a river or similar.

At least in Hungarian flood is when flowing water leavs its normal boundaries. But there are cases when there is not enough drainage and rain or snowmelt just stays on the fields and this is detrimental to any normal food growing activity (so not like a rice paddy). Is there a word for this kind of standing water in English? (Images https://www.google.ca/search?q=belv%C3%ADz&tbm=isch here if it helps)


If the source of the water is rain on its way to the river on flat saturated ground and not an overflow from the river it is called ponding or ponded field, it is one of several types of flooding

Ponding is a type of flooding that can happen in relatively flat areas. Rain water falling in an area is normally stored in the ground, in canals or lakes, or is drained away, or pumped out. When more rainwater enters a water system than can be stored, or can leave the system, flooding occurs. In this case, rain is the source of the flood: not water coming from a river, but water on its way to the river. That's why it is also called "pluvial flood".

It is the term used in scientific literature

An analytical solution is provided for predicting time dependent seepage into an array of equally spaced parallel ditch drains in a homogeneous and anisotropic soil medium underlain by an impervious layer and receiving water from a ponded horizontal field of infinite extent. The solution can account for both unequal levels of water in the adjacent drains and variable depths of ponding at the soil surface.

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    +1, this is also the term used by civil/drainage engineers. – Smalltown2k Mar 30 '16 at 14:47
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    This might be the technical term, but it's not the vernacular. It should be fairly clear to listeners even if they're not familiar with the term, though, as a pond is simply a small body of landlocked water. – DCShannon Mar 30 '16 at 18:42
  • @DCShannon, right, not vernacular, but the OP specifically asked for a term that identifies a kind of standing water, different from the kind that would be produced by a river when it overflows its normal boundary and floods adjoining fields. When you need to be precise, the vernacular sometimes falls short and a technical term is needed. – amdn Mar 30 '16 at 20:51
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    @amdn Right, it's fine, just a little usage note. – DCShannon Mar 30 '16 at 21:00

'Marsh' is my first instinct, but that would be like a rice paddy. What you are looking for is a temporary type of a state for a normally dry terrain.

standing water

comes to mind as the actual term.


It's called inundation



Or you can simply refer to it as stagnant water/ water stagnation.

The state of not flowing or moving



The field is inundated with flood water


I would suggest the adjectival form flooded.

Stagnated land suggests terrain which is soaked with water, but stagnated waters means water that is still. The term inundation is more about volume. Google images seems to agree that flooded fields is in common use.

  • Several farmers had to rescue animals from flooded fields (BBC)

Cambridge Dictionaries use the same example in their definition

covered with ​water: flooded ​fields


Still water formed e.g. by the pooling of fallen rain in an area with poor drainage can be called standing water:

  1. (Of water) stagnant or still. OED

It's used both as a description of stillness as well as a description of the stagnancy typically associated with still, small bodies of water like puddles.

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    standing water is all I've ever heard. Could also go with "my backyard", but anyone who doesn't know me wouldn't understand – Michael J. Mar 30 '16 at 18:01

Where I come from, they often use the word slough (slew/slue) for such places.

1. an area of soft, muddy ground; swamp or swamplike region.
2. a hole full of mire, as in a road.
3. Also, slew, slue. Northern U.S. and Canadian. a marshy or reedy pool, pond, inlet, backwater, or the like.
4. a condition of degradation, despair, or helplessness.

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    But that tends to be a permanent feature, and I think the OP was asking about a temporary condition. – jamesqf Mar 30 '16 at 17:16
  • @jamesqf You make a good point: referring to something as a "slough" gives a stronger connotation of permanence than "flooded field" or "ponded field." I've seen fields become sloughs (temporarily, seasonally, and permanently), which is why I posted it, but you are correct that the timescale might be longer than the OP wants. – Solocutor Mar 30 '16 at 17:36

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