Definition of waterworks in US English:


plural noun

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

    • ‘You can plot its position on Rocque's map - to the east of Chelsea Hospital and right by the waterworks.’
    • ‘The health board believes it will attract a lot of interest from developers as there are excellent views of the river, and the 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.’
    • ‘Military encirclement and the bombing of markets and waterworks provokes hunger, thirst, and slow death for millions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Palatial architecture gave way to residences, temples to embankments, platforms to the city's waterworks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the past 28 years, neither the capacity of these waterworks had been increased nor the water supply technique changed.’
    • ‘The venue could not have been more appropriate - an old waterworks to celebrate Pattaya's cleaner waters.’
    • ‘They have to do everything from getting the director of the waterworks to come back to work to getting a chief of police.’
    • ‘Also the previously named Burren Road which extends from Burren Church to the waterworks has been renamed as an extension of the Donaghaguy Road.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A multinational water company, let's call it Global Gush, buys up a waterworks, in say, Buenos Aires.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yet over the past decade, hundreds of U.S. cities and counties, including Indianapolis and Milwaukee, have hired private companies to manage their waterworks.’
    • ‘Initially this came from Cornish mine-owners, but extended to paper, flour, cotton and iron mills, as well as distilleries, canals and waterworks.’
  • 2informal Used to refer to the shedding of tears.

    ‘she is an expert at turning on the waterworks to manipulate others’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He will be struggling to hold back the waterworks when the film goes up for seven awards at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.’
    • ‘It was painful at times and it brought a few waterworks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I know children will turn on the waterworks if the adults get all dramatic.’
    • ‘Her waterworks switched on, and she screamed bloody murder.’
    • ‘He turns on the waterworks and Susan relents a bit.’
    • ‘And she'll turn on the waterworks if the deals backfire.’
    • ‘A barking mad pooch has tapped into fame with his ability to turn on the waterworks.’
    • ‘They gave a synchronised display of waterworks: they cried openly.’
    • ‘Margaret's lip began to tremble, and finally came waterworks of tears.’
    • ‘I was just about to turn on the waterworks when a small… something rubbed itself against my leg.’
    • ‘I tell you, there were enough waterworks that day to breathe life into Death Valley.’
    • ‘She screamed at the top of her lungs, the waterworks in flood mode.’
    • ‘And if I ask, she'll turn on the waterworks, and then I have to shell out more money to buy tissues.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Daniel ran downstairs, getting prepared to turn on the waterworks.’
    • ‘I hated the fact that I seemed to be switching on the waterworks constantly.’
    • ‘If anybody mentions Sean or why I left last night, turn on the waterworks.’