Definition of waterworks in English:


plural noun

  • 1treated as singular An establishment for managing a water supply.

    • ‘Initially this came from Cornish mine-owners, but extended to paper, flour, cotton and iron mills, as well as distilleries, canals and waterworks.’
    • ‘He said that his own number ended in 46 and the number of the waterworks ended in 64 but that his number was the one posted up as that of the water-works.’
    • ‘The novel meshes together stories of the building of the viaduct and the city's waterworks with the tales of lovers and families trying to negotiate their way through personal, cultural and political struggles.’
    • ‘They have to do everything from getting the director of the waterworks to come back to work to getting a chief of police.’
    • ‘You can plot its position on Rocque's map - to the east of Chelsea Hospital and right by the waterworks.’
    • ‘The school, which caters to nearly 12 nearby villages, does not have a boundary wall, toilets, and proper drinking water arrangement despite having the waterworks at a distance of 200 metres.’
    • ‘They started off buying municipal waterworks, and now they're one of the biggest media and publishing companies in the world, and it doesn't stop there.’
    • ‘Yet over the past decade, hundreds of U.S. cities and counties, including Indianapolis and Milwaukee, have hired private companies to manage their waterworks.’
    • ‘In the past 28 years, neither the capacity of these waterworks had been increased nor the water supply technique changed.’
    • ‘Palatial architecture gave way to residences, temples to embankments, platforms to the city's waterworks.’
    • ‘Apparently people from the waterworks had dug up the road to fit in new pipes, so that instead of getting potable water from reservoirs and Mother Nature largely, now I'm getting a new kind of water.’
    • ‘Sources said that almost all schools in the village did not get water supply from the waterworks and the students were also consuming the hand-pumped water.’
    • ‘Proposals for the board saw it acting as a one-stop shop where the developers of major infrastructural projects such as key roads, incinerators and major waterworks could submit their plans for approval.’
    • ‘The health board believes it will attract a lot of interest from developers as there are excellent views of the river, and the waterworks.’
    • ‘With the condition of waterworks becoming worse and groundwater level dipping, residents of the nearby villages are facing an acute water shortage here.’
    • ‘The railroad came to Hailey in 1883 bearing materials for a jail, courthouse, electric lights, waterworks, and telephones.’
    • ‘Also the previously named Burren Road which extends from Burren Church to the waterworks has been renamed as an extension of the Donaghaguy Road.’
    • ‘The venue could not have been more appropriate - an old waterworks to celebrate Pattaya's cleaner waters.’
    • ‘A multinational water company, let's call it Global Gush, buys up a waterworks, in say, Buenos Aires.’
    • ‘Military encirclement and the bombing of markets and waterworks provokes hunger, thirst, and slow death for millions.’
  • 2informal Used to refer to the shedding of tears.

    ‘she is an expert at turning on the waterworks to manipulate others’
    • ‘A barking mad pooch has tapped into fame with his ability to turn on the waterworks.’
    • ‘It was painful at times and it brought a few waterworks.’
    • ‘Her waterworks switched on, and she screamed bloody murder.’
    • ‘He turns on the waterworks and Susan relents a bit.’
    • ‘I tell you, there were enough waterworks that day to breathe life into Death Valley.’
    • ‘My colleague was doing her best to avoid my gaze, but the telltale blotches around her eyes gave away the fact that her waterworks had been flowing.’
    • ‘Margaret's lip began to tremble, and finally came waterworks of tears.’
    • ‘She screamed at the top of her lungs, the waterworks in flood mode.’
    • ‘I know children will turn on the waterworks if the adults get all dramatic.’
    • ‘And she'll turn on the waterworks if the deals backfire.’
    • ‘I hated the fact that I seemed to be switching on the waterworks constantly.’
    • ‘Whilst I rarely shed a tear at gigs - in so far as I go to gigs anymore - once I get home and put on an album by some winsome folkie gently strumming their acoustic guitar, the waterworks aren't far behind.’
    • ‘They gave a synchronised display of waterworks: they cried openly.’
    • ‘If anybody mentions Sean or why I left last night, turn on the waterworks.’
    • ‘Daniel ran downstairs, getting prepared to turn on the waterworks.’
    • ‘He will be struggling to hold back the waterworks when the film goes up for seven awards at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.’
    • ‘But give me a depressing chick flick in the graveyard slot starring C-list (I'm being kind) talent and I can't turn off the waterworks.’
    • ‘Depsite all the waterworks, I have to have faith that if fate played a part in our meeting, fate is playing a part in our moving to Minnesota.’
    • ‘I was just about to turn on the waterworks when a small… something rubbed itself against my leg.’
    • ‘And if I ask, she'll turn on the waterworks, and then I have to shell out more money to buy tissues.’