water down


Definition of water down 

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of water down in a Sentence

watered down the cocktails while jacking up their prices

Recent Examples on the Web

The 2026 tournament will be different, watered down, weird. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "2026 World Cup jointly hosted by U.S. will be weird, watered-down — and spectacular," 10 July 2018 It was significantly watered down from earlier versions that proposed significant benefit cuts. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Judge strikes down Kentucky's pension reform law: 5 things to know," 20 June 2018 In short, skewing the election results to give Republicans more seats watered down his influence over the policy process. Barry C. Burden, Washington Post, "The Supreme Court decided not to decide Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case. But here’s why it will be back.," 19 June 2018 And when the governor made derogatory remarks about teachers who had protested and succeeded in convincing lawmakers to greatly water down the pension bill, he was widely criticized within his own party. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "Matt Bevin bashes Andy Beshear but won't say he's in governor's race," 10 July 2018 Now our watered down health care is making decisions based on cost and not what’s best for the patient. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 5 June 2018 By Thursday morning, before it was even released, some of the President's most faithful followers had already written a letter to Horowitz complaining the report had been watered down. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Inspector General Criticizes FBI and Comey, But Some Want More," 14 June 2018 There’s no guarantee that new privacy rules won’t be watered down. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Make No Mistake, Mark Zuckerberg's Appearance Fanned the Flames for More Privacy Rules," 11 Apr. 2018 FoRT advocates say this will water down the impact the test could have in improving the quality of reading instruction. Alan J. Borsuk, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Borsuk: Literacy may not be a constitutional right, but it's a life imperative," 6 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of water down

1811, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about water down

Share water down

Statistics for water down

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for water down

The first known use of water down was in 1811

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on water down

What made you want to look up water down? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!