turn on the waterworks

Definition of turn on the waterworks

informal
:to start crying especially in order to get sympathy from someone
  • kids who turn on the waterworks when they want attention

Word by Word Definitions

turn play
  1. : to cause to move around an axis or a center : make rotate or revolve

  2. : to cause to move around so as to effect a desired end (as of locking, opening, or shutting)

  3. : to affect or alter the functioning of (something, such as a mechanical device) or the level of (something, such as sound) by such movement

  1. : the action or an act of turning about a center or axis : revolution, rotation

  2. : any of various rotating or pivoting movements in dancing or gymnastics

  3. : the action or an act of giving or taking a different direction : change of course or posture : such as

waterworks play
  1. : the system of reservoirs, channels, mains, and pumping and purifying equipment by which a water supply is obtained and distributed (as to a city)

  2. : an ornamental fountain or cascade

  3. : the shedding of tears : tears


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serious difficulty or misfortune

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