Definition of wet in US English:

wet

adjective

  • 1Covered or saturated with water or another liquid.

    ‘she followed, slipping on the wet rock’
    • ‘Her outfit is utterly sopping wet and covered with sludge; after all, she had to cut across more than a few people's backyard to get here.’
    • ‘Their bodies were bloody, contorted and covered with wet leaves.’
    • ‘By nightfall there were 20 climbers crowding the shelter and the walls were covered with wet clothes.’
    • ‘Use of a wet towel or dripping water to induce a perception of suffocating.’
    • ‘You can also cover them with wet towels or sheets and fan them until it is possible to get them to a hospital or doctor.’
    • ‘Cover them with wet newspaper to keep them moist while dormant.’
    • ‘I'm noticing that the floor is wet - entirely covered in dark liquid.’
    • ‘Tears slipped down his cheeks leaving wet splotches on the cover.’
    • ‘My little brother Andrew stopped in mid-step and wiped his mouth still wet with water, as the adults looked at him in absolute surprise.’
    • ‘To avoid tissue dehydration during measurements, the walls of the pressure chamber were covered with wet filter paper.’
    • ‘So managing the water from wet cutting is well worth it.’
    • ‘The main type of central heating system is wet - where hot water is circulated through pipes and goes to radiators with valves that control the amount of time it spends there.’
    • ‘Immediately remove clothing that has become saturated with wet concrete.’
    • ‘I have seen them wet with sea water, glistening in the sun.’
    • ‘The cages were covered with wet marsh grass to minimize mortality from desiccation and heat stress during the lowtide period.’
    • ‘His wheel rims were already wet from the water already in the road and, if anything, he continued to pick up speed.’
    • ‘Sarah was cold and her clothes where wet and covered in mud.’
    • ‘The sidewalks are always wet and covered in magazines and flyers no one bothers to pick up.’
    • ‘His vision swam and blurred in front of him, the land seeming to be covered in wet lumps all around him.’
    • ‘I told my son to get my garden gloves, and then we covered ourselves in wet towels and got her out but by then it was too late.’
    damp, dampened, moist, moistened
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of the weather) rainy.
      ‘a wet, windy evening’
      • ‘That weekend it was dreadful weather, it was wet, it was cold, it was windy, and that just made our emotions even more hard to bear.’
      • ‘But normally if the weather was wet, my Lord, no you wouldn't have done it satisfactorily at all.’
      • ‘Despite wet and windy weather last week, the vehicle terminal at the port here reached a new record, handling 37 containers per working hour.’
      • ‘A word of warning, if the weather is wet, the lane down to these pegs, normally easy, can become dangerous!’
      • ‘It's that time of year in the northern hemisphere, the nights are drawing in, the clocks going back, and the weather is wet and awful.’
      • ‘But with brighter, wet and windy weather forecast for tomorrow, motorists in the county should not have to face the fog again.’
      • ‘The surface of a lava flow weathers, particularly in wet climates, to form a rich, reddish volcanic soil, called a bole.’
      • ‘Luck they had indoor entertainment as weather was extremely wet and windy.’
      • ‘What made it more remarkable was the weather, which was wet, cold and very windy, with the odd snow shower thrown in for good measure.’
      • ‘The weather was wet, but visibility was still good.’
      • ‘wind is important in spreading diseases: for example bacterial blight is spread in wet, windy weather.’
      • ‘Another spell of mild, wet and fairly windy weather is expected on Thursday.’
      • ‘Staking or supporting early in the growing season is best and can help direct plant growth, encourage better flower displays and prevent damage during wet and windy weather.’
      • ‘But the agency says that if this prediction proves correct, it might only cause a problem if the cold weather is also wet - causing heavy snowfall in the hills.’
      • ‘The Asian Garden thrives in winter, when the weather is wet and cool.’
      • ‘But reality is that no soft shell as comfortable as the Serendipity will keep you dry in a torrential rain or hours of wet sleet.’
      • ‘Sometimes they were sent them home early if the weather was too wet, but only once did they get sent home because it was too hot!’
      • ‘About 10,000 people braved wet and windy weather to attend the ceremony at the Margraten cemetery in the southern Netherlands.’
      • ‘It will be mainly dry for a time on Wednesday, with sunny spells, but wet and windy weather will develop later.’
      • ‘The weather is fairly wet but so far has not been very cold which is a good thing.’
      rainy, raining, pouring, teeming, showery, drizzly, drizzling
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of paint, ink, plaster, or a similar substance) not yet having dried or hardened.
      • ‘The cupola and the concrete construction were corroded, the masonry was wet, and plaster work was peeling off.’
      • ‘Using the ink-soaked felt, tap it over the tag while the gold ink is still wet.’
      • ‘Painting into wet plaster with water soluble pigments is one of the most difficult of all challenges a painter can face.’
      • ‘It remains to be seen whether the glitter will stay stuck to the prints as I just sprinkled it onto the wet ink.’
      • ‘Masking tape takes ages to apply, it never comes off cleanly and it doesn't even mask off wet paint effectively.’
      • ‘The smell of fresh breads, wet ink, melting glass, new silks and a lot of currency drifted about from the many open stalls.’
      • ‘The method is similar to what is called dry fresco in Europe, as the paints are applied to a dry surface, not wet plaster as in true fresco.’
      • ‘A classic fresco is an original image that was painted directly on a wall of wet plaster using natural pigments.’
      • ‘The characteristic aspect of Christina's style is that of using the fluid motion of wet paint in a graceful pattern, before letting it finally dry.’
      • ‘While the paint and paper are still wet, place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the painted section, making sure the wrap is wrinkled.’
      • ‘And I remember when it was here in Atlanta, you wanted to be careful about leaning against a post for fear the paint was still wet.’
      • ‘The one working on the side seemed to comb the wet plaster into horizontal furrows, while the one working on the back preferred a smooth finish.’
      • ‘Instead of using the tried and tested method (egg tempera on wet plaster), however, he used a paint of his own invention.’
      • ‘He would cut a negative into wet sand and pour plaster into the sand mold.’
      • ‘You can also use the cleaner for wet paint on clothing, but launder clothes immediately after application.’
      • ‘The wall was splayed with fresh graffiti and the post was dripping with wet spray paint.’
      • ‘The sign, on the front step of the home in London Road, Benfleet, had been placed there to warn people about wet paint on the newly decorated front door.’
      • ‘Oil paint is a wet mixture of pigments in an oily medium.’
      • ‘Like wet plaster of Paris hardening in a glass jar, salt crystals that have incorporated water can also expand to crack their container.’
      • ‘This led me to use only pencil and ballpoint pens and to slip in a piece of kitchen towel to soak up wet ink.’
      sticky, not set, not hardened, not hard, tacky
      aqueous, watery, sloppy
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    3. 1.3 (of a baby or young child) having urinated in its diaper or underwear.
      • ‘I believe there is no baby there, but I'm willing to have a wet infant hauled into view.’
      • ‘Anny picks up the wet nappy and tiptoes out of the room.’
      • ‘They have to stay in a wet nappy longer and wear clothes with food down the front.’
      • ‘Unless I can conquer my competitive instincts, there'll be a lot of very wet toddlers and it'll all end in tears.’
      • ‘Someone once said that the only person who welcomes change is a wet baby.’
    4. 1.4 Involving the use of water or liquid.
      ‘wet methods of photography’
      • ‘Another solution to this problem is to use wet methods or ‘dustless’ vacuum tools.’
      • ‘Kistler was trying to prove that a gel contains a continuous solid network of the same size and shape as the wet gel.’
      • ‘Known as the wet method, a building is sprayed with water as it is leveled.’
      • ‘Typically, the choice of a wet method requires specific knowledge about the sample as well as the level of accuracy required.’
      • ‘Tissue P status was analysed after wet digestion by the molybdate blue method.’
      • ‘Consider the following precautions when selecting a wet cleaning method.’
  • 2British informal Showing a lack of forcefulness or strength of character; feeble.

    ‘they thought the cadets were a bit wet’
    feeble, silly, weak, foolish, inept, ineffective, ineffectual, effete, soft, namby-pamby, timid, timorous, spiritless, cowardly, spineless
    View synonyms
  • 3informal (of a country or region or of its legislation) allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages.

    1. 3.1 (of a person) addicted to alcohol.

verb

[with object]
  • 1Cover or touch with liquid; moisten.

    ‘he wet a finger and flicked through the pages’
    ‘the wetting caused an aggravation of his gout’
    • ‘But tension is mounting as recreational fishers complain about not being able to find room on the water to wet their lines.’
    • ‘Seconds later, He wet his finger and stuck it in the ear of an unsuspecting TV reporter.’
    • ‘Her short black hair had been carefully wetted down, and her usual leathers covered the intense fighter's form.’
    • ‘If they seem bent and not curled, a good tip is wetting a Q-Tip and touching it to your lashes, before applying the mascara.’
    • ‘Sand was deposited by wind or water, and briefly wetted by liquid water that evaporated, forming the sulfate cement.’
    • ‘Dip both ends into the liquid candle wax so the whole thing is wetted, then wait for it to harden (or chill it in your drink.)’
    • ‘His form slowly turned and he looked at Jessica expectantly, she ran to him, through the mud, soaking her skirts and wetting her hair, then she held him.’
    • ‘Concerned, I checked it and found that it only wet the cover over the pillow and did not seep to the pillow itself.’
    • ‘Of course, plenty of travelers also arrive via the tarmac, ready to reel in monster tuna, trek the hills, and take in the views without wetting a toe.’
    • ‘Paddy, after a little thought and wet his finger and smudged the trunk of each of the trees.’
    • ‘She went to the sink and wet a towel to clean Matty's face which was covered with spaghetti.’
    • ‘He screwed up his eyes and studied the clouds, wet a finger and held it up, picked a blade of grass and felt it between finger and thumb, smelt it.’
    • ‘The waterskin slipped through Darteil's fingers, wetting his shirt.’
    • ‘He uses a drip irrigation system to avoid wetting the leaves, which could promote the growth of fungi.’
    • ‘After the application of the repellent, subjects were instructed not to rub, touch, or wet the treated arm.’
    • ‘The aspiration is the puff of air that you can feel if you wet your finger and hold it in front of your mouth when you say pot in English.’
    • ‘Franklin would pump the treadle, wet his fingers, and stroke the rims of the bowls, almost as if playing notes on the piano.’
    • ‘She wetted the tip of her finger, counted out five tens and dropped them into the metal money scoop.’
    • ‘Water dripped from the ceiling, creating puddles, wetting the carpet and ruining the already rotted woodwork.’
    • ‘Avoid wetting the foliage and thin out overcrowded growth.’
    dampen, damp, moisten, humidify
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (especially of a baby or young child) urinate in or on.
      ‘the child wet the bed’
      • ‘If your child still wets the bed regularly, ask the doctor about ways to help decrease this behavior.’
      • ‘Would you blame a coma victim for wetting the bed?’
      • ‘She said Luke had become withdrawn since the bullying, preferring to stay indoors, sleeping till late in the afternoon and wetting the bed regularly.’
      • ‘His outbursts of anger were so frightening, one of his fellow teachers said, that two children had wet their pants.’
      • ‘Enuresis is classed as primary when the child has never been persistently dry through the night and as secondary when the child starts wetting the bed after one year of continence.’
      • ‘One in ten children is still wetting the bed by the age of five.’
      • ‘Estimates are that 20 per cent of all five-year-olds wet the bed.’
      • ‘If both parents wet the bed when they were young, it's very likely that their child will as well.’
      • ‘A few children still have trouble with wetting the bed at night.’
      • ‘Having large amounts of liquid before going to bed can make most children wet the bed.’
      • ‘But whenever one of our children wet the bed, he claimed that they were lazy, too lazy to get up, go to the bathroom.’
      • ‘He still wets the bed during nights not regularly but frequently, mostly during winter when he goes to bed without going to the bathroom.’
      • ‘The concept of using an alarm that emits a sound when a child wets the bed was first introduced in 1938.’
      • ‘My six-year-old daughter has started wetting the bed.’
      • ‘This back and forth happens once or twice more, and then there's a little to-do because the tyke has wet the little pants she is wearing.’
      • ‘‘One young child wet the bed one night and was forced to walk round with a sandwich board over him the next day saying what he had done,’ she said.’
      • ‘We find children who are wetting their beds and haven't done it before.’
      • ‘Alison said one of her children recently wet the bed, so they had to spend the night on the sofa and floor.’
      • ‘At five years, more than one in six children still wet the bed.’
      • ‘The family should keep track of how many times the child voids during the day and how many nights the child wets the bed.’
    2. 1.2wet oneself Urinate involuntarily.
      • ‘The driver, in so much fear that he probably wet himself, sped away from the courthouse.’
      • ‘I know at least one person in the UK will be wetting themselves at the prospect of watching this show every night.’
      • ‘Panic stations alerted, so I soused it avec water, and was sat there wetting myself while trying to dry it with the hairdryer.’
      • ‘For a movie that wets itself over the power of imagination, it doesn't show much creativity of its own.’
      • ‘Then we turned round and his missus had returned and was wetting herself laughing at us.’
      • ‘For the last two years, I've been wetting myself when I laugh.’
      • ‘Thankfully when the doctor tried to set my bones I conveniently wet myself and passed out with the pain.’
      • ‘Their ill - treatment of Victoria included beating her with a bicycle chain, tying her up and wrapping her in bin liners to prevent her wetting herself.’
      • ‘We collapsed in fits, the tutor had overheard and was almost wetting herself, and the 5 others were demanding to know what we'd said.’
      • ‘Is it directed by a veteran actor/star who Hollywood wets itself over?’
      • ‘You can well imagine a young lad, his first time in battle, wetting himself with fear.’
      • ‘He had to wear a bag attached to his penis for fear of wetting himself because he could not say he wanted the toilet.’
      • ‘Many of us are soon going to be afraid of a good belly laugh - for fear of wetting ourselves in public.’
      • ‘He said his client became uncooperative at the police station after she was stopped from using the toilet and suffered the humiliation of wetting herself in front of officers.’
      • ‘I even remember almost wetting myself once because I wouldn't use the school toilets after I'd heard the tale about the old care-taker who haunted the place.’
      • ‘This was unfortunate for everyone around us as we spent the rest of the week quoting lines from the film and almost wetting ourselves while all else wondered what was going on.’
      • ‘It's usually the last words you hear before the punch lands, your head hits the floor and you wet yourself with fear.’
      • ‘However if a child has been wet from birth, always wets himself / herself day and night, or never achieved toilet training, then it is essential to seek medical help.’
      • ‘Sky almost wets herself with glee when he enters the classroom.’
      • ‘I manage to cope with the indignity well, despite the patients and nurses almost wetting themselves with laughter at the sight of me squirming as the needle is inserted.’

noun

  • 1Liquid that makes something damp.

    ‘I could feel the wet of his tears’
    • ‘Sometimes he looks really cute and appealing, and then others he looks like he's been ridden hard and put away wet.’
    • ‘There's far too much wet around and I think it's softened my brain.’
    • ‘We run together down windows, streaming and sobbing and smashed into one big wet.’
    wetness, damp, dampness, moisture, moistness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the wet Rainy weather.
      ‘the race was held in the wet’
      • ‘His head was down and his ears back, his coat somewhat darker with the wet.’
      rain, rains, drizzle, damp weather, rainy weather, showery weather, wet weather, precipitation, spray, dew, damp
      View synonyms
  • 2British informal A person lacking forcefulness or strength of character.

    namby-pamby, weakling, milksop, milquetoast, baby
    View synonyms
  • 3US A person opposed to the prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

Phrases

  • all wet

    • Completely wrong.

      • ‘Their publishers are all wet about copyright.’
      • ‘If the polls are all wet and the final vote breaks sharply one way or the other, people will want to claim the election as a historic watershed.’
      • ‘You don't have to be a ‘Biblical scholar’ to know that what you wrote was all wet.’
      • ‘By the way, most people think Roberts is all wet.’
      • ‘Your discussion of the intellectual property debate is all wet.’
      • ‘Jeff actually knows what he's talking about, thinks I'm all wet on this one.’
      • ‘But up next, Coke's plans to sell bottled water overseas are all wet.’
      • ‘Since I'm not an economist, I might be all wet about this.’
      • ‘No sooner does the Consultant Debunking Unit dip its toe back into the waters of consulting-speak than it stumbles onto jargon that turns out to be all wet.’
      • ‘I suppose we could just thank our lucky stars that all the negative prognostications were all wet and leave it at that.’
  • wet behind the ears

    • informal Lacking experience; immature.

      • ‘At last I was a specialist in health psychology, but still a bit wet behind the ears professionally.’
      • ‘I went out as a sort of wet behind the ears completely ignorant 21 year old and spent 18 months in Madagascar.’
      • ‘Tell me son have you ever cut turf before, following up with, it's just that you look a bit wet behind the ears for this job.’
      • ‘The peak and valleys paint a visual picture of the sound the newborn universe made when it was still wet behind the ears, a mere 300,000 years after its birth in a big bang.’
      • ‘A bit wet behind the ears, and failed to recreate from a place in the starting line-up what he achieved coming off the bench against Tunisia.’
      • ‘The new breed of politicians should no longer be wet behind the ears and need to start acting like experienced rulers.’
      • ‘That's not to say that the Green movement is admitting to being wet behind the ears.’
      • ‘Nowadays, 32 seems a bit wet behind the ears to me, but from memory it is about the age that you start to feel like the oldest swinger in town when you step inside a nightclub.’
      • ‘It seems a funny thing to ask, but they are clearly a little wet behind the ears.’
      • ‘When I moved to from the East Coast to California in 1997, I was wet behind the ears, right out of college, and I knew I was kinky.’
  • wet through (or to the skin)

    • With one's clothes soaked; completely drenched.

      • ‘Then they won't be sitting in classrooms wet through and steaming.’
      • ‘When they travelled miles to attend Mass on a Sunday morning, often in weather conditions that had them either wet to the skin or blue with the cold when they arrived at their place of worship.’
      • ‘She raised her head, and a rush of air cooled the patch of skin on Alex's shoulder that had been wet through his shirt by her tears.’
      • ‘He was wet through so took off most of his clothes and emptied his pockets, to let everything dry off.’
      • ‘By the end of it we were wet to the skin and tired, but happy and all jumped out.’
      • ‘There were more than 5,000 fans squeezed into the ground and most of them got wet through.’
      • ‘I think it was this weekend when I woke up to discover that my futon was actually damp, wet through from my sweating into it during the night.’
      • ‘The season also throws up stark images of pedestrians, motorists and just about everyone scurrying for cover and kids wet to the skin plying paper boats.’
      • ‘Then the water was shallow enough to stand up in, and he waded in towards land, his dark wool hose streaming with water and the linen wrap about his wound wet through.’
      • ‘The wool tunic and leggings on the man nearest me is wet through, his cap is flattened to his head.’
  • wet one's whistle

    • informal Have a drink.

      • ‘Because beer drinking is popular, to say the least, there are hundreds of bier halles and biergartens where you can wet your whistle.’
      • ‘Allowing film buffs to wet their whistle while they watch is one small step along the road to York's cherished goal: civilised drinking.’
      • ‘Office workers at Monks Cross who are hoping to wet their whistle after work are going to be waiting for a long time - as a bar or restaurant is not planned for the site for over 18 months.’
      • ‘Emergency service workers struggle to make due under budgetary constraints set by a premier more interested in wetting his whistle than his forests.’
      • ‘A heat wave has descended on Central Europe, so I decide to wet my whistle with a drink in the Westec Saloon, hoping, as I've been promised, that I'll hear some good live music.’
      • ‘Only too happy to wet his whistle, he had two cases dispatched to his London offices yesterday.’
      • ‘Well, how about keeping me company while I wet my whistle?’
      drink, swallow, gulp, gulp down, guzzle, slurp, attack, down, drink down, drink up, force down, get down, finish off, polish off, drain, empty, imbibe, have, take, partake of, ingest, consume, sup, sip, lap
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English wǣt (adjective and noun), wǣtan (verb); related to water.

Pronunciation

wet

/wet//wɛt/