Definition of water in English:



mass noun
  • 1A colourless, transparent, odourless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms.

    Water is a compound of oxygen and hydrogen (chemical formula: H₂O) with highly distinctive physical and chemical properties: it is able to dissolve many other substances; its solid form (ice) is less dense than the liquid form; its boiling point, viscosity, and surface tension are unusually high for its molecular weight, and it is partially dissociated into hydrogen and hydroxyl ions

    ‘sodium chloride dissolves in water’
    ‘can I have a drink of water?’
    • ‘Its normally the ions that react with other chemicals when dissolved in water.’
    • ‘Helping the weevils was the relatively clean water flowing into the dam.’
    • ‘As she headed toward the front door, droplets of water rained down on her from the sky.’
    • ‘If we do have liquid water on earth we have the potential to form life a lot earlier.’
    • ‘Mara smiled slightly as they entered the broad bowl of mountains and beheld the lake of clear water at its centre.’
    • ‘The methanol reacts with water in the presence of a catalyst to produce hydrogen ions and electrons.’
    • ‘Brine is a solution of sodium chloride and water that may or may not contain other salts.’
    • ‘When they run out, refill the bottles with a mixture of water and washing up liquid.’
    • ‘Water is safe if boiled; alternatively there is plenty of bottled drinking water available.’
    • ‘Forget about humping a heavy pack, cooking over a campfire, drinking brackish water from a stream.’
    • ‘Don't rush to drink that lovely fresh spring water either.’
    • ‘There is evidence that beneath a thick outer layer of ice the moon is covered in liquid or slushy water.’
    • ‘I was told to fetch drinking water from the river.’
    • ‘Volcanic carbon dioxide would cause atmospheric warming that would, in turn, warm surface ocean water.’
    • ‘She said when it rains water gushes into the hole and under the foundations.’
    • ‘They are dissolved in warm water and the liquid is taken as a drink between meals.’
    • ‘Water vapour rises into the atmosphere where it is cooled and turned back into liquid water.’
    • ‘Somewhere in the maze of subterranean cracks below the village, contaminated surface water was leaking into clean groundwater.’
    • ‘However, make sure a sufficient amount of cool, clean, fresh drinking water is always available.’
    • ‘Petrol station bosses have begun an investigation into whether heavy rain caused water to get into a fuel pump.’
    1. 1.1 Water as supplied to houses or commercial establishments through pipes and taps.
      ‘each bedroom has a washbasin with hot and cold water’
      as modifier ‘water pipes’
      • ‘She stood there and splashed warm water on her face for several minutes.’
      • ‘He turned on the faucet and splashed the ice cold water on his face.’
      • ‘Back in 1944, the house had no electricity supply, an outside cold water tap and a big vegetable plot.’
      • ‘Refill the tub with clean cold water and rinse the pipes out by running the jets a few more minutes.’
      • ‘Wash syringe parts with clean hot tap water (do not wash the internal parts with soap or disinfectant).’
      • ‘A turn of a handle and this top tank supplies gravity fed water to the house.’
      • ‘Do not run the hot tap or use dishwashers, washing machines or other appliances fed by the hot water supply.’
      • ‘Other responsibilities include getting electricity and water supplied to the house.’
      • ‘The hall has a wooden floor, toilets and hot and cold running water.’
      • ‘He showers from the drum at the back of the house with cold water and rushes off to school.’
      • ‘There is a limited supply of hot water in the showers, which is currently only available very early in the morning or late at night.’
      • ‘The chances are, in rural areas you will not have mains water and rely on a well or spring with a pump to supply water to the house.’
      • ‘One was an empty old pipe he was replacing, one was full of cold water supplying the home.’
      • ‘With a good water supply the house had a flush toilet and its own septic tank.’
      • ‘Pour very hot tap water into pan to about 2/3 of the way from top of custard cups.’
      • ‘The council was also offering grants to put bathrooms and hot water systems into houses.’
      • ‘Place under cold running water for 20 minutes.’
      • ‘The house smelt of damp, the baths were old-fashioned and there wasn't an endless supply of hot water.’
      • ‘No house had its own water supply so a regular visit had to be made to the nearest pump for the daily supply.’
      • ‘Do we really need to associate with the brand that pipes water into our house?’
    2. 1.2 One of the four elements in ancient and medieval philosophy and in astrology (considered essential to the nature of the signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces)
      as modifier ‘a water sign’
      • ‘In view of the manner of his death it is curious to note that his nativity has no planets in water signs.’
      • ‘Also, both your natal suns are in water signs, another indicator of compatibility.’
      • ‘He did, however, take note of the sign that Jupiter is in: Scorpio, a water sign.’
      • ‘Venus was credited with a sea origin, and copper reminds us of this connection with the water element.’
      • ‘Or is it questionable to think that my water elemental is somehow linked to yours?’
      • ‘Like all water signs, Scorpio finds a natural habitat in the world of feelings and instincts.’
      • ‘The physical body is composed of the elements earth, water, fire, air and ether.’
      • ‘In the water signs of Scorpio and Pisces we see a different expression of this energy.’
      • ‘How many planets does Person A have in water signs, how many in earth, how many in fire and how many in air?’
      • ‘A chart that is strong in water will be dominated by emotions and sensitivity.’
      • ‘In the north, water is the element and it is its own coordinating symbol, just like fire.’
      • ‘In astrology, it is the Moon's association with water that dominates its influence.’
      • ‘The west is yellow, associated with the element of earth, and the north is white, representing water.’
      • ‘More information on the other two elements, water and fire, will be made known over the next few weeks.’
      • ‘Aquarius is often thought to be a water sign because of the portrayal of the Water-bearer.’
    3. 1.3usually the waters The water of a mineral spring as used medicinally for bathing in or drinking.
      ‘you can take the waters at the Pump Room’
      • ‘However, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see sick pilgrims now queueing to visit the restorative canals in the Bow area to take the waters and heal themselves.’
      • ‘A Harrogate toffee firm which won a worldwide reputation for its lemony sweets originally bought to take away the pungent taste of the town's spa waters, is branching out with a more chewy rival.’
      • ‘The alleged curative powers of springs precipitated the establishment of spas where wealthy visitors came to take the waters and which may be considered the forerunners of modern health farms.’
      • ‘The taking of the waters and bathing in them stopped at once.’
      • ‘‘Throughout the nineteenth century, American high society flocked here to take the waters,’ he relates.’
      • ‘The Victorians had a dream that Whitby could match the gilded splendour of Harrogate, and the thermal spring waters of Bath.’
      • ‘Bath has always been popular, ever since the Romans found spa waters there and established it as a centre of rest and recreation.’
      • ‘You can take the waters in the ozone pool or pretend to be sightseeing from the outdoor hydropool cut into the rooftop of the building.’
      • ‘In April 1737 Handel suffered a stroke, and he retired to take the waters at Aix-la-Chapelle in September.’
      • ‘It's a piped spring, the waters of which are said to contain the powers to heal, which is why everything from ancient pants to old trainers have been soaked in the magical water and left to rot on the open hillside.’
      • ‘He went to take that popular Georgian pick-me-up, bathing in and drinking the spa waters at Bath.’
      • ‘Romans didn't so much come here to bathe in the natural spring waters as to wash their hands and face.’
      • ‘Lithium may be responsible for the reputed benefit of certain spring waters to patients with mental disease.’
      • ‘Yes, the waters from the thermal springs that feed the town's impressive fountains and the blissful spa really must have magical powers.’
      • ‘On the strength of such claims the site was developed as a medicinal spa and huge crowds flocked to take the waters.’
    4. 1.4with modifier A solution of a specified substance in water.
      ‘ammonia water’
      • ‘The maid massaged the oil into her scalp and washed it with the flower water in the bath.’
      • ‘Beat the cream cheese and butter together and then beat in the flower water and sugar.’
      • ‘Poach the syrup gently for about ten minutes, until it begins to thicken a little, then stir in the orange blossom water.’
  • 2the waterA stretch or area of water, such as a river, sea, or lake.

    ‘the lawns ran down to the water's edge’
    • ‘The fall to the water's edge is now a steep series of frosted steps.’
    • ‘They bought it and built what was intended to be a holiday house just metres from the water's edge.’
    • ‘After a night's rest we carried our kayaks down a steep path that led us to the water's edge.’
    • ‘He walked across the frozen reservoir to retrieve his football but the ice gave way, plunging Luke into the water up to his waist.’
    • ‘You sit right by the water on the edge of a pretty and totally unspoilt village.’
    • ‘I became panicky the closer I got to the bottom of the slide and to the edge of the water.’
    • ‘The edges of the water are often strewn with bottles, cans and litter.’
    • ‘I sent Steph back to get the buggy which we had abandoned close to the water's edge.’
    • ‘Kat leaned over and watched the water for him to surface, but it was taking too long.’
    • ‘Your mother decides to go to the water's edge to see the children.’
    • ‘One climbed over a chain guard on the sea wall and posed for a picture on steps leading down to the water's edge.’
    • ‘The northwesterly limit of each lake parcel is shown as being the water's edge.’
    • ‘The path passes through a gate and out of the trees and cuts through a spread of smooth grass that runs up to the water's edge.’
    • ‘When you live right on the water's edge, the summers aren't as hot and the winters aren't as cold.’
    • ‘Children wander near the edge of the water in the warm sun, practising their technique with a nylon net.’
    • ‘Now let me have you imagine that you are at a lake or a pond standing at the edge of the water.’
    • ‘Some ground-floor rooms are just a few steps from the water's edge and have French doors.’
    • ‘This allows customers to dine on the water's edge and order food from either restaurant.’
    • ‘I want a strong man to walk beside me at the water's edge as the sun sets into the ocean.’
    • ‘A giant marquee was erected next to the lake and a dance floor constructed at the water's edge.’
    sea, ocean
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 The surface of an area of water.
      ‘she ducked under the water’
      • ‘For two miles the water stretched north, a flat sheet of grey in the morning sun.’
      • ‘Players were ducked under the water and roughly tackled by the opposing side.’
    2. 2.2as modifier Found in, on, or near areas of water.
      ‘a water plant’
    3. 2.3waters The water of a particular sea, river, or lake.
      ‘the waters of Hudson Bay’
      figurative ‘the government are taking us into unknown waters with these changes in the legislation’
      • ‘The waters of Dongting Lake and the Xiangjiang River, which flows through the provincial capital of Changsha, are near all-time highs.’
      • ‘On Saturday June 5 hundreds will plunge into the cold waters of Camlough Lake to participate in the first ever triathlon to be held in South Armagh.’
      • ‘We imagined ourselves strolling between golden fields of quinoa and the thrilling blue waters of the highest lake.’
      • ‘Experts estimate that there are at least 11,000 logs preserved in the icy Ottawa River waters.’
      • ‘They add a dash of exotic colour to what was once a place of busy docks and warehouses, most of which now lie in decay, fronted by rusting ships abandoned on the brown waters of the River Plate.’
      • ‘The newly renovated Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur is an island unto itself, seemingly afloat on the still blue waters of Lake Pichola.’
      • ‘He floated on the surface of the lake; its waters were far denser than normal water.’
      • ‘Thousands of floating, flickering lights, rhythmically carried forward by the slowly moving waters of the holy river, are an unforgettable sight.’
      • ‘A taxi driver who pulled a young man from the raging waters of the River Kent in February's floods rushed to the aid of a road accident victim this week in a second life-saving attempt.’
      • ‘In the foreground, a footbridge spans a river whose waters are churned by the wheel of old Mr. Sandyman's mill.’
      • ‘In the opera's famous opening scene, deep in the waters of the Rhine river, Wagner unfolds an immense, rolling E-flat major chord.’
      • ‘A total of 16 swimmers braved the icy waters of The River Barrow for the Home Care Team while 26 took part in the walk.’
      • ‘Within its confines they build houses and shops, cultivate fields, and set out in tiny boats on the waters of the lake whose vastness I now comprehend.’
      • ‘A youth crouches on a stanchion under York's new Millennium Bridge - some 15 feet above the bank and the swirling waters of the River Ouse.’
      • ‘Although I've lived in the Selby area for most of my life, I've never seen crowds of fisherman hauling nets of clams, mussels and tuna from the murky waters of the River Ouse.’
      • ‘Just south of the provincial capital, the murky waters of the Golok River mark the border between Malaysia and Thailand.’
      • ‘Britain's newest sports car took a test drive Wednesday, zooming back and forth across the waters of the Thames River.’
      • ‘Lake Vouliagmeni's waters partially come from underground currents from Mount Hymettus.’
      • ‘A huge police operation was carried out on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to unearth any clues with divers scouring the waters of the River Ribble at the docks.’
      • ‘Soon, the waters of the Tusket River were running clear again.’
    4. 2.4waters An area of sea regarded as under the jurisdiction of a particular country.
      ‘Japanese coastal waters’
      • ‘Has he received any information that would cause him to review the Government's policy of excluding nuclear-propelled ships from New Zealand waters?’
      • ‘When the boat proceeded to Australian waters it was intercepted and boarded by the Australian Navy ship Wollongong, the report said.’
      • ‘The panel's conclusion was that there was no public safety or environmental reason for not having nuclear-propelled ships visit New Zealand waters.’
      • ‘This poison, which affects humans, has plagued Scottish coastal waters for the last decade, resulting in 34 separate bans on catching shellfish.’
      • ‘Initially, 16 wrecks in waters under UK jurisdiction will be designated Controlled Sites.’
      • ‘After the war, Australian ships and sailors served in Japanese waters as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces.’
      • ‘He added that the mine could also have been washed out to sea from recent Royal Navy manoeuvres in Scottish coastal waters.’
      • ‘Commissioned in 1940 the ship served in Australian waters until she deployed to Singapore in March 1941.’
      • ‘The sanctuary is believed to be the largest yet declared by an individual government in waters under its jurisdiction.’
      • ‘The parliament called upon member states to immediately restrict the use of high intensity active naval sonar in waters under their jurisdiction.’
      • ‘The ship anchored in Japanese waters five days later.’
      • ‘We flew one proudly from the back stay of our chartered yacht during our two-week cruise in Turkish waters last year.’
      • ‘The Japanese coast guard officers said they spotted a Chinese flag on the ship's mast and bow, and a protest banner in Chinese claiming the area as Chinese waters.’
      • ‘Japan protested to Russia for allowing South Korean fishing boats to fish for saury in its waters, including the area near the islands, this fishing season from summer to fall.’
      • ‘The five were last seen attending a party on board a ship anchored off Singaporean waters accompanied by three men.’
      • ‘I notice that it is starting to backtrack on the issue of nuclear ships in New Zealand waters.’
      • ‘But it was a huge shock to New Zealanders to see an act of terrorism take place within our coastal waters, and in our terrestrial areas, as well.’
      • ‘He was plucked from Australian waters off Arnhem Land.’
      • ‘The first ship sunk by a German submarine in our coastal waters was torpedoed in this area.’
      • ‘They have often attacked ships in Sri Lankan waters.’
  • 3Urine.

    ‘drinking alcohol will make you need to pass water more often’
  • 4watersThe amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus in the womb, especially as discharged in a flow shortly before birth.

    ‘I think my waters have broken’
    • ‘Swimming may be a symbol of birth, expressing a wish to return to the peace and safety of the waters of the womb.’
    • ‘The epidural did not work and fell out and my waters were broken without my consent.’
  • 5The quality of transparency and brilliance shown by a diamond or other gem.

  • 6Finance
    Capital stock that represents a book value greater than the true assets of a company.


  • 1with object Pour or sprinkle water over (a plant or area) in order to encourage plant growth.

    ‘I went out to water the geraniums’
    • ‘I arrived back to my house and saw my grandpa was watering the flowers outside.’
    • ‘Plants were watered three times a day with an automatic watering system, except in the case of low humidity in the growth chamber, in which the plants were watered daily by hand.’
    • ‘After she watered the crops, she went inside the house.’
    • ‘Lawns are watered twice or thrice daily, especially in summer.’
    • ‘Alison was watering the potted herbs that grew behind the house.’
    • ‘The plants were well watered, and used for experiments on the day of purchase.’
    • ‘After all her rows are planted, she waters them.’
    • ‘When setting out container-grown plants, be sure that the soil is moist (not wet) and that you have watered the plant itself.’
    • ‘The plants were watered regularly throughout their development.’
    • ‘They noticed that if there was a good water supply, low rainfall did not matter… and could even assist matters, as it meant greater control of when the crop was watered.’
    • ‘It was also used for watering the flowers in the churchyard, and for drinking water.’
    • ‘Many have taken to hiding their garden hoses or to watering plants after dark so that few questions are asked.’
    • ‘For best results, I suggest using room temperature water for watering your windowsill garden.’
    • ‘Leave some room around the base of the plant so that when the plants are watered, it will be more directly absorbed into the soil.’
    • ‘Just ignore the strange looks from your neighbors as you lovingly water your weeds.’
    • ‘The runoff from watering your plants goes into the tray and evaporates, providing extra humidity.’
    • ‘Rain gutters feed a cistern hooked to a sprinkler system for watering the fruit orchard and grass.’
    • ‘Ten days before, a Tuesday, after she had watered her ferns and perennials, she stood watering the aloe vera plant at her east window, her window facing the street.’
    • ‘After cleaning, which would be for about two hours, at ten, she would be watering the plants in and out of the garden.’
    • ‘For instance, I watered my lawn last night for the first time ever.’
    sprinkle, moisten, dampen, wet, spray, splash
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Give a drink of water to (an animal)
      ‘they stopped to water the horses’
      • ‘I cleaned out all the stalls and watered the horses before going to see if John and Sheryl needed me to do anything else.’
      • ‘I eventually arrived home at about 7:30 pm local time, and then I fed and watered my two cats.’
      • ‘As she was doing so, she fed and watered her cats.’
      • ‘After watering the animals I go to the fair and work all day and come back home at 5-6 in the evening.’
      • ‘She rode onward, stopping only to water her horse or to walk him every now and than.’
      • ‘Am I watering the gardens or am I watering the birds?’
      • ‘Then she jumped back onto the gravel, near the spot where I had watered the dog, smiled from ear to ear, waved and ran inside the bungalow to finish packing her mountain of stuff.’
      • ‘She then fed and watered the pigeon and gave it a temporary home - in Stanley's box.’
      • ‘Simply feeding and watering the animals wouldn't have saved them, he continues.’
      • ‘In light of the fact that agreement has not been reached, staging posts where animals are unloaded, watered, fed and rested will remain.’
      • ‘I fed the chickens, and watered the goats; I even found time to fluff the cats.’
      • ‘So he (went down the well), filled his shoe with water, caught hold of it with his teeth and climbed up and watered the dog.’
      • ‘He had fed the animals, watered them, fussed over Sport and Cochise, and milked the cow.’
      • ‘Everyone accepts that animals benefit greatly from being unloaded, watered and rested, and it also gives you the opportunity to clean and re-bed trucks.’
      • ‘But up to 1962, they were grazing and watering cattle there, pending their slaughter.’
      • ‘When stalled they should be fed twice daily, watered and their stalls cleaned daily.’
      • ‘A recent student debate centered on whether animals in the wild should be watered during a severe drought.’
      • ‘I normally fed and watered my cats by 11 pm or so local time before I retired at night, in fact.’
      • ‘The animals around the house have to be fed and watered and cleaned constantly, just like a child.’
      • ‘She saw people along the riverbank, bathing, washing their clothing, watering their livestock or fetching a bucketful.’
    2. 1.2 (of a river) flow through (an area of land)
      ‘the valley is watered by the River Dee’
      • ‘The dwellers of Nchubula in Kopa west are privileged to have before them the virgin vastness of flat savannah land watered by the Munikashi river that pours into Bangweulu river.’
      • ‘The central floodplain is watered by the Chao Phraya River and its tributaries.’
      • ‘Ladakh is watered by the River Indus on its way down to the Punjab, and many a grain of sand in the Indian Ocean may well have once formed part of a stone in the land behind the Himalayas.’
      • ‘The telltale marks recall a lost world from 175 million years ago when neither cliffs nor sea were there and the area was a near-tropical coastal plain watered by rivers from the Pennines.’
      • ‘To the Persians and Arabs the word Hindu covered both the lands watered by the Sindhu and the people living there and beyond.’
      • ‘The whole area watered by the West River had by the 1840s become violently unstable.’
      • ‘Timia is a gem of an oasis, a well watered valley, fringed by mountains.’
      • ‘The Prut River waters the western part of Moldova, Bessarabia.’
      • ‘Where did the rivers that watered Eden come from if there was no rain?’
      • ‘For centuries people believed the Garden of Eden was a sunny parkland watered by rivers meandering gently beneath a blue sky.’
      • ‘The glaciers of the Himalayas, which feed the great rivers watering the farmland keeping Asia alive, are disappearing.’
      • ‘Egypt is generally associated with arid desert and the sharply contrasting fertile strip of land through the Nile Valley watered by the annual inundation of the River Nile.’
      • ‘A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters.’
    3. 1.3 Take a fresh supply of water on board (a ship or steam train)
      ‘the ship was watered and fresh livestock taken aboard’
      • ‘Each time it merely turned an engine around or coaled and watered it, such as when a yard engine came in for a crew change, the roundhouse was credited with a half-dispatch.’
      • ‘Once they had cleared the platform, James got off and watered our coaches.’
      • ‘These could not be steam trains, because steam locomotives required watering and other servicing at inconveniently frequent intervals.’
      • ‘During her response to the welcome home, Captain Parry said she watered Windeward Bound at some of the same spots used by Flinders and found the water still pristine.’
      • ‘We wondered if the coach had a malfunction, or if somebody forgot to water this coach.’
  • 2no object (of a person's eyes) fill with tears.

    ‘Rory blinked, his eyes watering’
    • ‘But I bet your eyes will water when the firms reveal their charges for the new-style pensions.’
    • ‘Listening to the tape of my attempt makes my eyes water, but Carrie doesn't sound like she's lying.’
    • ‘She turned to Ronnie, her eyes watering with pain.’
    • ‘After a long moment I noticed Carlos's eyes were watering.’
    • ‘Gabby's eyes were watering as she chopped an onion.’
    • ‘Rachel's eyes watered, and tears started flowing down her cheeks.’
    • ‘The atmosphere was terrible, and I had to leave within less than an hour, because my eyes began watering.’
    • ‘Natalie's eyes started watering and puffing up.’
    • ‘One of the children opened the door and a cloud came inside - we all started coughing violently, as if our lungs were on fire, and our eyes were watering.’
    • ‘I looked over my shoulder and noticed my eyes watering.’
    • ‘Billy felt his eyes watering up and began to cry.’
    • ‘Her eyes watered up and the tears made their way down her cheek.’
    • ‘Her eyes were still watering, but she couldn't help it.’
    • ‘I could see his sides shaking and his eyes watering.’
    • ‘My eyes were watering too, but only because her lovely gesture had moved me to tears.’
    • ‘Suddenly her eyes watered and tears fell from her eyes.’
    • ‘His eyes stopped watering and he wiped the tears away.’
    • ‘Her eyes watered and she hurried to wipe the tears away from her face as Alex turned around.’
    • ‘The sound of a door slamming echoed in her ringing ears, and she stumbled towards where she thought the door was, her eyes watering as her hands sought the bar of the handle blindly.’
    • ‘She yanked out the brush and began combing through that lock of knotted hair vigorously, her eyes watering slightly every time the brush hit a stubborn tangle.’
    moisten, exude water, become wet, leak
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of a person's mouth) produce saliva, typically in response to the sight or smell of appetizing food.
      ‘the smell of frying bacon made Hilary's mouth water’
      • ‘Even though my mouth watered I knew I couldn't eat it.’
      • ‘My mouth watered at the thought of such a great treat after such a trying day.’
      • ‘His mouth watered eagerly; it was all he could do to refrain from throwing himself onto the food.’
      • ‘My mouth watered as I placed them on the counter.’
      • ‘Her mouth watered as she took a look at the thing as the waiter set it in the middle of the table.’
      • ‘My mouth watered, thinking of the first taste of sugar I would have in months.’
      • ‘She added a little bit of pepper to the meat and watched as his mouth watered.’
      • ‘Her mouth watered just from the sight of the food.’
      • ‘My mouth watered and my stomach growled loudly.’
      • ‘The mall was bustling with activity and Stacy's mouth watered at the mention of ice cream.’
      • ‘I walked through the cafeteria doors and my mouth started watering.’
      • ‘Stacy's mouth watered at the mention of pancakes.’
      • ‘My mouth watered at the sight and smell but I forced myself to keep my head up and stand strong.’
      • ‘My mouth was watering at the sound of bacon, eggs, and toast.’
      • ‘Randy's mouth watered at the sight of the brown confections.’
      • ‘My mouth watered as I remembered how long it had been since I had last eaten.’
      • ‘Her mouth was watering as she entered the tavern on the bottom level of the inn.’
      • ‘Geneva's mouth watered at the pleasant smell of the food.’
      • ‘My mouth watered at the sight of meat on the table.’
      • ‘Her mouth watered and she cursed the thief who took her money.’
      moisten, exude water, become wet, leak
      View synonyms
  • 3with object Dilute or adulterate (a drink, typically an alcoholic one) with water.

    ‘staff at the club had been watering down the drinks’
    • ‘And watering down the whiskey isn't the best way to keep your customers loyal.’
    • ‘As a malt lover, I am in the camp that says watering down the whisky is precisely what you want to do, since this reveals its subtle intricacies.’
    • ‘We went to the beach, sunbathed, read books under straw parasols, ate olives and drank cheap red wine watered down with soda water.’
    • ‘It's like drinking club soda that has been watered down and mixed with flat light beer.’
    dilute, water down, add water to, thin, thin out, make thin, make thinner, weaken, make weak, make weaker
    dilute, add water to, water, thin, thin out, make thin, make thinner, weaken, make weak, make weaker
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1water something down Make a statement or proposal less forceful or controversial by changing or leaving out certain details.
      ‘the army's report of its investigation was considerably watered down’
      • ‘If anything I have watered my comments down a little, because I know he reads this diary.’
      • ‘The man who led the investigation believes the proposals have been watered down so that the staining will not affect the appearance of dog and cat food.’
      • ‘American wages have fallen, health insurance plans have been watered down.’
      • ‘This new law aims to protect health and the environment from the impact of harmful chemicals, but I understand that industry wants to water it down.’
      • ‘Such has been the opposition to Clarke's proposals that he has watered them down somewhat.’
      • ‘But in the final version, which was issued earlier this month, all these points were watered down.’
      • ‘New Labour was working overtime to water it down.’
      • ‘The resolutions were watered down so China abstained and didn't veto.’
      • ‘I am concerned that the clear recommendations to the Scottish Executive and its agencies have been watered down.’
      • ‘Their concerns are largely misplaced; although they have been watered down, the patent rules will probably greatly benefit the Indian economy and its people.’
      • ‘Although this bold statement was watered down slightly during oral submissions it illustrates the unreality of the Local Authority's case on foreseeability.’
      • ‘Similarly, on the proposed adoption of the services directive to create a single and free market for services within the union, the proposals were watered down to the point where the liberalisation is meaningless in all but name.’
      • ‘They're worried about the impact on the weak and vulnerable if the unfair dismissal laws are watered down.’
      moderate, temper, qualify, mitigate, mute, mellow, tone down, soften
      View synonyms
  • 4Finance
    Increase (a company's debt, or nominal capital) by the issue of new shares without a corresponding addition to assets.


  • by water

    • Using a ship or boat for travel or transport.

      ‘at the end of the lake was a small kiosk, accessible only by water’
      • ‘Then, following a specially designed route by water and railway, the waste is transported to Russia.’
      • ‘It is recognised for its general influence over sailors, shipping, and voyages by water.’
      • ‘Travel by water was better for much of the year until winter froze the rivers.’
      • ‘Until very recently, travel by water was the most efficient way to move around.’
      • ‘Just after the attacks, the debris was brought by road; now, to cope with the volume, it is shipped by water.’
      • ‘A canal could haul coal twenty times as far by water for the same unit cost as turnpike transport.’
      • ‘The crews travelled down to Gravesend by water on the Saturday in order to take part.’
  • like water

    • In great quantities.

      ‘George was spending money like water’
      • ‘Remember when he spoke of guns and ammunition entering this country like water?’
      • ‘Dump the currency restrictions and let capital flow in and out of this country like water.’
      • ‘However, many people, especially the wealthy classes, spend money like water.’
      • ‘The real show takes place in the Festhallen, wherein the beer runs like water and tastes like the nectar of the gods.’
      • ‘Every time I ask for money social services say we're looking after the money because I spend it like water.’
      • ‘We were in Chinatown with a group of acquaintances and the warm Sake was flowing like water.’
      • ‘Still, it seeps in like water and before you know it you are drowning.’
      • ‘The richest traders of the city gathered at Kaiser Park, and liquor and money flowed like water.’
      • ‘The town's bars, shops and eating places were packed all day and money was flowing like water.’
      • ‘If spending money like water was the answer to our country's problems, we would have no problems now.’
  • make water

    • 1Urinate.

      • ‘With all of his patrons' content, Barridan tromped his way toward the door, thinking now would be a good time to make water before the crowd managed to gulp down their refreshed mugs of ale.’
      • ‘A woman enters the bathroom with the desire/need to make water or to poop.’
      pass water, go to the loo, go to the toilet, go to the lavatory, relieve oneself
      View synonyms
    • 2(of a ship or boat) take in water through a leak.

  • of the first water

    • 1(of a diamond or pearl) of the greatest brilliance and transparency.

      ‘a gem of the first water’
      1. 1.1Used to refer to a person or thing that is unsurpassed of their kind, typically in an undesirable way.
        ‘she was a bore of the first water’
        • ‘Most of the chat is innocuous and scene-specific, but if after watching this movie you really expected the guys who made it to provide cogent insights into the cinematic process, you're a cockeyed optimist of the first water.’
        • ‘With scholarly depth and intellectual charity that refuse to impose spurious commonalities, this is ecumenical conversation of the first water.’
        • ‘According to her description the losing candidate was a ‘lush,’ a falling down soaking drunk of the first water.’
        • ‘Babbage was a polymath of the first water - he invented an opthalmoscope, worked on codes, picked locks, suggested the Penny Post, he invented a periscope and a submarine diving bell.’
        • ‘I will just say, however, that anyone who gets a tattoo from another culture with that much resonance in that culture without every having met someone from that culture is a schmuck of the first water.’
        • ‘He was wearing a baseball cap backwards, which marked him as what Syd called 'a jerk of the first water.'’
        • ‘He was a complete jackass of the first water.’
        • ‘This is a magickal artifact of the first water, so well known that it was credited as the device through which Dee divined the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.’
        • ‘A lot of this is obviously down to the fact that these guys are players of the first water.’
        • ‘This was comedy acting of the first water and the like of which is seldom seen nowadays.’
  • pass water

    • Urinate.

      ‘nowadays I need to pass water more often than before’
      pass water, go to the loo, go to the toilet, go to the lavatory, relieve oneself
      View synonyms
  • under water

    • Submerged; flooded.

      ‘the causeway was under water’
      • ‘She said her rice and corn field was under water so she walked miles to town to try to get food.’
      • ‘Because most of the Aegean region is under water any regional correlations are necessarily speculative.’
      • ‘He still has 60 acres of winter corn under water, a lot of which will drown out and have to be re-sown.’
      • ‘The lounge bar is under water and so are the two ground floor bedrooms.’
      • ‘He said the flood plain encroached on to the land, which was near Selby Dam, and was currently under water.’
      • ‘Other residents were still coming to terms with the fact that the ground floors of their homes are under water.’
      • ‘Then I was under water and one of the loungers was above me, stopping me reaching the surface.’
      • ‘A little over 40 years ago this part of the Netherlands was still under water.’
      • ‘Even in the height of summer the field is almost permanently under water and too wet for British cattle.’
      • ‘Within weeks, both areas lay under water after the River Derwent burst its banks.’
      flooded, covered with water, under water
      View synonyms
  • the water of life

    • Whisky.

      • ‘After maturing the bourbon, the casks are broken down, packed into containers and shipped to Scotland to a whisky industry thirsty for slightly-used timbers to impart that little bit of extra character to their water of life.’
      • ‘While Jon and Mark had drunk plenty and were passionate about the water of life, David actually made the stuff.’
      • ‘‘I have drunk of the water of life since my youth,’ the barbarian muttered, then drank of the cup.’
      • ‘And if you stand at the pier at Lagavulin, you will overlook the bay from which a thousand Islay men embarked to help Robert the Bruce give the English a good gubbing at Bannockburn - and who were no doubt well fortified with the water of life.’
      • ‘Or is this a clumsy attempt at a makeover for the water of life, something based on the London vodka restaurants that once revolutionised the perception of Russia's finest?’
      • ‘It's not that I don't like the odd tipple, it's more that harsh experience has meant that the water of life is irrevocably linked in my mind to the deathly, debilitating hangover that inevitably follows the next morning.’
      • ‘We may have enlisted a Spaniard to build our parliament and a German to run our soccer team, but woe betide anyone who meddles with the water of life.’
      • ‘They have too much of the water of life, although what they say is not nonsense.’
      • ‘Now, normally a couple of tablespoons of the water of life glugged into said hot pan will produce entirely acceptable pyrotechnics.’
      • ‘Any careful reading of Burns' poetry, perhaps smoothed by a dram of the water of life, instantly reveals that he intuitively understood the key lessons in managing such strategic change.’
  • water on the brain

    • informal Hydrocephalus.

      • ‘Suffering from prostate cancer, Parkinson's and water on the brain, the preacher will speak from an ingenious pulpit designed to allow him to evangelise in a sitting position.’
      • ‘Their conditions ranged from IQ's as low as 55, to water on the brain at birth, brain damage, and lobotomy.’
      • ‘I wonder if they have a cure for water on the brain as well?’
      • ‘Could you explain what happens to a person in her 70s who might have water on the brain?’
      • ‘Another baby has water on the brain - its arms are bandaged to prevent it pulling out the tubes in its wrists.’
      • ‘When she was born, her mother was told she also had water on the brain and that she would be unable to walk or speak.’
      • ‘She went back in after that because her head was swelling and the hospital told us she had water on the brain.’
      • ‘The child, who suffered from spina bifida and water on the brain, was found unconscious with bruises to the head.’
      • ‘He had been born with water on the brain and suffered other brain damage from a severe fall when he was young.’
      • ‘As I'm not a musician he treats me like a child with water on the brain where his work is concerned.’
  • water under the bridge

    • Used to refer to events that are in the past and consequently no longer to be regarded as important.

      ‘I don't want to talk about that—it's all water under the bridge now’
      • ‘After that it was all water under the bridge and they were friends again.’
      • ‘While what's past is past and there's no use crying about water under the bridge, it does appear that this decision may have been a mistake on my part.’
      • ‘It is just water under the bridge now, I suppose.’
      • ‘Past fiscal decisions are water over the dam, given the national government's priority for addressing recession in a timely manner.’
      • ‘As far as the bad blood goes, I think it should be water under the bridge.’
      • ‘And when you get together with him is it water under the bridge or do you still continue to talk about the things that you guys have been through and how have you fixed that relationship?’
      • ‘But that's water under the bridge at this point.’
      • ‘It's all water under the bridge and if it hadn't happened, we wouldn't have seen the great feat of engineering that we have in the city today.’
      • ‘I spoke to both artists about that incident right after today's announcement, and for them it's been cleared up and it's just water under the bridge.’
      • ‘It's all water under the bridge now and I don't have any bitterness, but I'm convinced that it's difficult to claim there's no connection.’


Old English wæter (noun), wæterian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch water, German Wasser, from an Indo-European root shared by Russian voda (compare with vodka), also by Latin unda ‘wave’ and Greek hudōr ‘water’.