TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”

Some may describe the arrival of the coronavirus as a “watershed moment.”

What is the meaning and origin of the idiom “watershed moment?”

One definition of “watershed” is “an event marking a unique or important historical change of course or one on which important developments depend.”

But, the word was originally a geographical term describing the area from which water sources drain into a single river or a ridge, like that formed by a chain of mountains, which sends water to two different rivers on either side.

From that, watershed came to mean a turning point or dividing line in life.

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