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, 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

References to climate change and migration that the U.S. strongly objected to were also watered down, while China stood its ground against calls from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia to make firm commitments to reduce its steel overcapacity. Valentina Pop, WSJ, "G-20 Agrees to Joint Statement, With Compromises," 1 Dec. 2018 From there, it could get watered down with redactions. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Obscure case could determine whether Robert Mueller's Russia report sees light of day," 30 Aug. 2018 The new pact waters down American investor protections in Mexico and eliminates them with Canada. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "Trump Aims to Model New Trade Deals on Revised Nafta," 4 Oct. 2018 Health officials and government representatives were flabbergasted in May when the U.S. delegation threatened trade measures in an effort to water down parts of the World Health Assembly resolution. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Why breastfeeding is best, despite that Trump administration uproar," 9 July 2018 Frozen mango makes great ice cubes without watering down drinks. Claire Perez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Claire's tip of the week: Say cheers to mango cocktails," 8 June 2018 House Bill 2389 — which sailed through the House with bipartisan support before being watered down in the Senate — stalled out last month and was never scheduled to be heard by a conference committee. azcentral, "AZ Memo: Taylor Swift kicks off 'Reputation' tour tonight in Glendale; charter schools' financial red flags; needle exchange bill dies," 8 May 2018 That, in turn, would water down the long-standing special tax status of ownership over renting, say critics, and probably lead to a decline in home values. Kenneth R. Harney, chicagotribune.com, "This hefty tax benefit for homeowners hangs in the balance," 16 May 2017 The Trump administration watered down Obama-era rules meant to curb methane flaring or venting, which according to the Times is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The Trump administration is reportedly following industry “scripts” in rolling back oil and gas drilling restrictions," 28 Oct. 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

15 Dec 2018

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The first known use of water down was in 1811

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