Definition of waterloo
: a decisive or final defeat or setback a political waterloo
waterloo was our Word of the Day on 06/18/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
The Battle of Waterloo, which occurred on June 18, 1815, has given its name to the very notion of final defeat. Why? Maybe because it ended one of the most spectacular military careers in history (Napoleon's), as well as 23 years of recurrent conflict between France and the rest of Europe. In addition, it was Napoleon's second "final defeat." He was defeated and exiled in 1814, but he escaped his confinement, returned to France, and was restored to power for three months before meeting defeat at the hands of the forces allied under the Duke of Wellington near the Belgian village of Waterloo. The word waterloo first appeared in casual use the following year, 1816.
Origin and Etymology of waterloo
Waterloo, Belgium, scene of Napoleon's defeat in 1815
First Known Use: 1816See Words from the same year
Definition of Waterloo
1 city in northeast central Iowa northwest of Cedar Rapids population 68,406
2 town in central Belgium south of Brussels population 28,898 ◆In June 1815, a battle near Waterloo resulted in the decisive defeat of French Emperor Napoléon I.
3 city in southeastern Ontario, Canada, west of Kitchener population 98,780
WATERLOO Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of Waterloo for English Language Learners
: city in Ontario, Canada
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