Definition of water cooler in US English:

water cooler

noun

  • 1A dispenser of cooled drinking water, typically used in office workplaces.

    • ‘And nothing will earn more respect and admiration from the hardware fan as a water cooler.’
    • ‘There's plenty of controversy in the headlines to fuel conversations around the water cooler.’
    • ‘I slapped him on the back, then spied a water cooler in the corner.’
    • ‘Hang out at the company water cooler and force yourself to talk to a fellow employee you've never spoken with.’
    • ‘He walked over to the water cooler and got himself a drink.’
    • ‘There was a couch that looked ready for the dump, a water cooler, a television, and a phone, as well as files scattered about the space.’
    • ‘The air conditioners aren't working, and the water cooler has some sort of brownish gooey liquid coming out of the taps.’
    • ‘Did he ever try and trap them by the water cooler?’
    • ‘I tried hunting around for a water cooler to quench my thirst.’
    • ‘She blocked the hall in front of him, bent over the water cooler.’
    • ‘Was their day all about trading stories at the water cooler?’
    • ‘No, the prize wasn't an air conditioner, but a water cooler!’
    • ‘If the water cooler is large, two tablets can be safely used.’
    • ‘Apparently it wasn't his birthday at all, so it's not surprising he was a bit shocked to see us all advancing on him in a less than subtle pincer movement from behind the water cooler.’
    • ‘A water cooler bubbled to itself on the opposite end of the room.’
    • ‘They also have access to the statistics showing the exact time spent away from the phone, such as toilet breaks or getting drinking water from the water cooler.’
    • ‘It is equidistant from the water cooler, the washing machine and the TV room.’
    • ‘He managed to make Marin actually laugh when he described the incident with the paper clip and the water cooler that had flooded half the floor.’
    • ‘In the elevator or at the water cooler, take a break from business for the hottest summertime fun - pleasure.’
    • ‘I may never drink from the company water cooler again.’
    1. 1.1informal Used to refer to the type of informal conversation or socializing among office workers that takes place in the communal area where a water dispenser is located.
      ‘the subtleties of film noir haven't exactly been a hot topic around the water cooler’
      as modifier ‘a water-cooler chat about the president’
      • ‘There's the vital water-cooler debriefing with your colleague about the previous night's social events and/or TV.’
      • ‘Still, it's a risky gambit that the aging show, which does not have the same water-cooler buzz, can continue to score with viewers.’
      • ‘Off the island of Manhattan, water-cooler sentiment no doubt holds that it's bad, very bad, maybe even very, very bad.’
      • ‘It was the water-cooler gossip that led many to speculate that he lost his bid for the CEO position because of his sexual orientation.’
      • ‘Employees often ignore costly corporate-sanctioned software and revert to informal social networks - whether simply e-mail or impromptu water-cooler discussions.’
      • ‘The picture in question automatically becomes the number-one water-cooler subject for a week or so.’
      • ‘But the majority of other people I've worked with much prefer the traditional water-cooler chat and the occasional email send to a list of friends than the massive company-wide discussion.’
      • ‘The water-cooler talk that week was converging on agreement that it was simplistic to blame the attacks on Islam.’
      • ‘Those are the ultimate water-cooler topics for the month, and our analysis will help you stay ahead of the games.’
      • ‘And it has already become water-cooler conversation everywhere I've gone in the last two days.’
      • ‘She's in a newspaper or magazine every day and she's good water-cooler gossip.’
      • ‘Most of all, though, pharmaceutical makers seek to build word of mouth about a condition in the general public- the kind of water-cooler buzz that prompts people to ask their doctor about a disease, and the drug that might treat it.’
      • ‘If nothing else, you might get an interesting water cooler or email discussion going.’
      • ‘If asked, I will answer, and when the water-cooler topic turns to relationships, I will talk about mine, whatever they may be at the time.’
      • ‘It rapidly became a New York Times bestseller, sparking incessant water-cooler conversation and wide coverage on the nation's business pages.’
      • ‘If you miss out on the water-cooler gossip, you can become desocialised.’
      • ‘Not that those choices would have made water-cooler conversation in Dubai.’
      • ‘I won't describe what happened, but trust me… it dominated water-cooler conversation for days afterward.’
      • ‘It'll take your water-cooler chats up a notch, and you'll be providing a valuable public service.’
      • ‘When it comes to office politics, we all need our water-cooler moments.’

Pronunciation

water cooler

/ˈwɔdər/