a story told in the Old Testament of the Bible about a great flood that covered the whole world. According to the story, God caused the Flood because he was angry with the people on Earth and wanted to punish them. Only one man, Noah, and his family were saved. God told Noah to build an ark (=a large boat) and to take two of every kind of animal on the ark with him. When the rain stopped and the water level began to go down, Noah sent out a dove to look for land, and the bird returned carrying an olive branch to show that the land was reappearing.
a very long time ago