water down

watered down; watering down; waters 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

Any effort by the EU to water down the backstop would mean abandoning the Irish government and unraveling a central pillar of the EU negotiating strategy with Britain. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "U.K. Parliament’s Rejection of Brexit Deal Puts European Union in a Bind," 16 Jan. 2019 This shows that recent Federal Circuit decisions watering down Alice (like Berkheimer v. HP) are important. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Notorious patent enforcement entity values its entire portfolio at $2, folds," 1 Nov. 2018 Image The Trump administration’s aggressive attempts to water down an international resolution supporting breast-feeding go against decades of advice by most medical organizations and public health experts. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, "Trump Stance on Breast-Feeding and Formula Criticized by Medical Experts," 9 July 2018 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

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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Statistics for water down

Last Updated

7 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for water down

The first known use of water down was in 1811

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Comments on water down

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