water down


Definition of water down

transitive verb

: to reduce or temper the force or effectiveness of watered down the plan

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Other Words from water down

watered-down \ ˈwȯ-​tərd-​ˈdau̇n How to pronounce watered-down (audio) , ˈwä-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for water down


adulterate, cut, dilute, extend, lace, sophisticate, thin, weaken


enrich, fortify, richen, strengthen

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Examples of water down in a Sentence

watered down the cocktails while jacking up their prices

Recent Examples on the Web

Each reform was mild, often watered down in the face of protests, but their cumulative effect means that the French labor market is now relatively flexible. Pascal-emmanuel Gobry, WSJ, "The Failure of the French Elite," 22 Feb. 2019 After facing resistance from business operators and lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, however, the ministry watered down the plan. Daniel Hurst, NBC News, "Tokyo Games looming, Japan faces pressure to douse smoking," 4 Feb. 2018 In December, the government watered down its plan to boost growth via a bigger budget deficit, in response to rising yields on government bonds that were pushing the economy toward recession. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Pledges Made by Italy’s Populist Government Come Up Against Economic Reality," 8 Jan. 2019 In one victory for the Pentagon, a requirement the Senate passed that bases share control over cases with local civilian authorities was watered down to only asking the service branches to explore such a change and report back. Reese Dunklin, The Seattle Times, "Under new law, military kids get sex assault protections," 13 Aug. 2018 After planting, create a berm of soil at the edge of the root balls to hold and direct water down through the roots and out into surrounding soil. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Cooler weather leads to more hardy azaleas," 17 Mar. 2018 The administration has already tried to clamp down at the border, but those efforts have been largely thwarted or watered down because of legal challenges. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Trump eyeing staffing shakeup in Cabinet and at White House," 13 Nov. 2018 Efforts by Haley and other American diplomats to end or to water down the routine scrutiny of Israel have failed in recent months at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Washington Post, "When, not if: US poised to quit UN’s human rights council," 15 June 2018 Instead, federal regulators and legislators are doing the opposite—watering down, narrowing or declining to enforce rules passed after the financial crisis. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Financial Deregulation Throws Fuel on Already-Hot Economy," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'water down.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of water down

1811, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for water down

The first known use of water down was in 1811

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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