water

1 of 2

noun

wa·​ter ˈwȯ-tər How to pronounce water (audio) ˈwä- How to pronounce water (audio)
often attributive
1
a
: the liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms streams, lakes, and seas, and is a major constituent of all living matter and that when pure is an odorless, tasteless, very slightly compressible liquid oxide of hydrogen H2O which appears bluish in thick layers, freezes at 0° C and boils at 100° C, has a maximum density at 4° C and a high specific heat, is feebly ionized to hydrogen and hydroxyl ions, and is a poor conductor of electricity and a good solvent
b
: a natural mineral water
usually used in plural
2
: a particular quantity or body of water: such as
a(1)
waters ˈwȯ-tərz How to pronounce water (audio)
ˈwä-
plural : the water occupying or flowing in a particular bed
(2)
chiefly British : lake, pond
b
: a quantity or depth of water adequate for some purpose (such as navigation)
c waters plural
(1)
: a band of seawater abutting on the land of a particular sovereignty and under the control of that sovereignty
(2)
: the sea of a particular part of the earth
d
: water supply
threatened to turn off the water
3
: travel or transportation on water
we went by water
4
: the level of water at a particular state of the tide : tide
5
: liquid containing or resembling water: such as
a(1)
: a pharmaceutical or cosmetic preparation made with water
(2)
: a watery solution of a gaseous or readily volatile substance compare ammonia water
b
archaic : a distilled fluid (as an essence)
especially : a distilled alcoholic liquor
c
: a watery fluid (such as tears, urine, or sap) formed or circulating in a living body
6
a
: the degree of clarity and luster of a precious stone
b
: degree of excellence
a scholar of the first water
7
8
a
: stock not representing assets of the issuing company and not backed by earning power
b
: fictitious or exaggerated asset entries that give a stock an unrealistic book value

water

2 of 2

verb

watered; watering; waters

transitive verb

1
: to moisten, sprinkle, or soak with water
water the lawn
2
: to supply with water for drink
water cattle
3
: to supply water to
lands watered by the river
4
: to treat with or as if with water
specifically : to impart a lustrous appearance and wavy pattern to (cloth) by calendering
5
a
: to dilute by the addition of water
often used with down
water down the punch
b
: to add to the aggregate par value of (securities) without a corresponding addition to the assets represented by the securities

intransitive verb

1
: to form or secrete water or watery matter (such as tears or saliva)
2
: to get or take water: such as
a
: to take on a supply of water
the boat docked to water
b
: to drink water
Phrases
above water
: out of difficulty

Examples of water in a Sentence

Noun Would you like a glass of water? There's water dripping from the ceiling. The kids love playing in the water. A stick was floating on the water. They like to vacation near the water. We are sailing in international waters. They were fishing in Canadian waters. Verb We need to water the lawn. They fed and watered the horses in the barn. My eyes were watering as I chopped the onions. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The resort makes the most of its secluded location and calm, clear water with a half-mile stretch of sand and a 328-foot-long lagoon for swimming, sunning or just lazing. Forbes Travel Guide, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 For air, dashes of light blue; for water, a deep-blue hue with copper overtones. Robb Report Studio, Robb Report, 20 Feb. 2024 Americans cannot change, and thus should not lament, the fact that their leaders look beyond the water’s edge through a political lens. Elizabeth N. Saunders, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The community has a treatment system that reduces nitrate levels in the drinking water. Ian James, Los Angeles Times, 20 Feb. 2024 The film jumps into nature-doc mode when the creature visualizes his ancestral roots in southwest Africa along the Okavango River in the first of many stunning drone shots, this one capturing a hippo herd’s bodies glistening like smooth stones in shallow water. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Feb. 2024 Yet half a mile away, another shiny building on the water is looking for a major tenant. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2024 Once the vehicle was removed from the water Thursday, investigators found the body of Tabitha Smith, the woman Leonard had arrested, covered in mud in the back seat, while the driver’s seat was empty. Rebekah Riess, CNN, 19 Feb. 2024 Schools, gyms and swimming pools were shut because of the lack of heat and water. Marco Di Marco, Quartz, 8 Feb. 2024
Verb
During long dry spells while the tree is producing fruit, water your tree deeply. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 19 Feb. 2024 There’s also no shortage of tools and accessories that are actually attractive like moisture meters, pruning shears, and watering cans. Quincy Bulin, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Feb. 2024 Droughts spell trouble for Texas ranchers who have to water their stock in order for their livelihoods to continue to be viable. David Montesino, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Feb. 2024 Thanks to a stream of appealing food photos and linguistic hot sauce, mouths are watering. Michael Deeds, Idaho Statesman, 8 Feb. 2024 For easy separation, water the area the day before to ease digging up the entire root system. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 6 Feb. 2024 At the same time, the Hong Kong government is pursuing a grand land reclamation scheme known as the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands, a $75 billion project in the ocean waters off the city that will see the creation of three new islands. Theodora Yu, Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2024 That involves mowing, watering and dragging the field on his tractor. Lawrence Price, Kansas City Star, 24 Jan. 2024 Each tree has an irrigation jet that connects to thousands of feet of underground piping that waters the plants with worm tea. Ashley Miznazi, Orlando Sentinel, 15 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'water.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Old English wæter; akin to Old High German wazzar water, Greek hydōr, Latin unda wave

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of water was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near water

Cite this Entry

“Water.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

water

1 of 2 noun
wa·​ter ˈwȯt-ər How to pronounce water (audio) ˈwät- How to pronounce water (audio)
1
: the liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms streams, lakes, and seas, and is a major part of all living material and that is an odorless and tasteless compound having two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen per molecule
2
plural : an area of seawater bordering on and under the control of a country
sailing Canadian waters
3
: travel or transportation on water
came by water
4
: the level of water at a particular state of the tide : tide
5
: a liquid containing or resembling water
especially : a watery fluid (as tears, urine, or sap) formed or circulating in a living body
waterless
-ləs
adjective

water

2 of 2 verb
1
: to wet or supply with water
water horses
water the lawn
2
: to weaken by or as if by the addition of water
someone watered down the punch
3
: to form or give off water or watery matter (as tears or saliva)
smog makes my eyes water

Medical Definition

water

1 of 2 noun
wa·​ter ˈwȯt-ər How to pronounce water (audio) ˈwät- How to pronounce water (audio)
1
: the liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms streams, lakes, and seas, and is a major constituent of all living matter and that is an odorless, tasteless, very slightly compressible liquid oxide of hydrogen H2O which appears bluish in thick layers, freezes at 0°C (32°F) and boils at 100°C (212°F), has a maximum density at 4°C (39°F) and a high specific heat, is feebly ionized to hydrogen and hydroxyl ions, and is a poor conductor of electricity and a good solvent
2
: liquid containing or resembling water: as
a(1)
: a pharmaceutical or cosmetic preparation made with water
(2)
: a watery solution of a gaseous or readily volatile substance see ammonia water
b
: a watery fluid (as tears or urine) formed or circulating in a living body
c
: amniotic fluid
often used in plural
also : bag of waters

water

2 of 2 intransitive verb
: to form or secrete water or watery matter (as tears or saliva)

More from Merriam-Webster on water

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