wa·​ter·​mark | \ ˈwȯ-tər-ˌmärk How to pronounce watermark (audio) , ˈwä-\

Definition of watermark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a mark indicating the height to which water has risen
2 : a marking in paper resulting from differences in thickness usually produced by pressure of a projecting design in the mold or on a processing roll and visible when the paper is held up to the light also : the design of or the metal pattern producing the marking


watermarked; watermarking; watermarks

Definition of watermark (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to mark (paper) with a watermark
2 : to impress (a given design) as a watermark

Examples of watermark in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Look for the security features built into it: the color-shifting ink on the bottom right corner, and the watermark. Heloise, Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Bad money finds good sales," 13 Aug. 2019 Width is really the thing that makes a phone feel big in your hand, and the Note10+'s 77.2mm-wide body has got to be a new high watermark in phone girthiness. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Galaxy Note10 hands-on: Samsung falls behind the competition," 8 Aug. 2019 That’s a high watermark since the organization started polling public confidence in Mueller in December 2017. NBC News, "Have Democrats dropped the ball on their pledge to hold Trump accountable?," 24 July 2019 Screenshots of the Facebook post have a watermark of the organization’s logo. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "GOP Group Posts Photo Renaming U.S. Congresswomen 'The Jihad Squad'," 22 July 2019 Rising water: Lake Erie again broke its all-time high-water record, surging past the watermark just set in May. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "Nate Gray was a key player in early FBI county corruption investigation: The Wake Up for Wednesday, July 3, 2019," 3 July 2019 Nothing outside the formal system is allowed to contaminate the ideal proof — as if every law had to carry a watermark confirming its constitutional justification. Quanta Magazine, "Why the Proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem Doesn’t Need to Be Enhanced," 3 June 2019 Whether torn at the edges or marked with pulp, stains or watermarks, every one of Leonardo’s originals contains its own centuries-old residue. Claudia Kalb, National Geographic, "Explore Leonardo da Vinci works from Queen Elizabeth II's private collection," 14 May 2019 Vizio will equip its TVs to read the watermark; the group will ask other TV makers to do the same. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "TV Networks Form New Consortium to Advance Targeted Advertising," 12 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At the same time, the image itself degraded, growing more compressed and watermarked with more layers of text scribbled out and written over again. Verge Staff, The Verge, "The best memes of 2018, according to The Verge staff," 27 Dec. 2018 That's huge news for photographers who spend a lot of time renaming or watermarking images in Finder. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "macOS Mojave: A visual tour of Dark Mode and other major features," 26 June 2018 Real-time video watermarking technology can now do the same thing with video files, secretly plastering your name across the center of a stream. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "How Copy-Pasted Text Can Hide a Secret Message That Narcs on You," 4 Apr. 2018 The data that Kogan’s app got, it wasn’t watermarked in any way. Nicholas Thompson, WIRED, "Mark Zuckerberg Talks to WIRED About Facebook’s Privacy Problem," 21 Mar. 2018 Photographers will be able to upload their pictures and get them securely watermarked using a cryptographic hash that will then be immortalized on the blockchain. Stephan Goss, Fortune, "Commentary: Don’t Buy Kodak’s New Cryptocurrency. Buy its Stock Instead.," 18 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'watermark.' 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 watermark


1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for watermark

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for watermark

The first known use of watermark was in 1577

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More Definitions for watermark



English Language Learners Definition of watermark

: a design or symbol (such as the maker's name) that is made in a piece of paper and that can be seen when the paper is held up to the light


wa·​ter·​mark | \ ˈwȯ-tər-ˌmärk How to pronounce watermark (audio) , ˈwä-\

Kids Definition of watermark

1 : a mark that shows a level to which water has risen
2 : a mark made in paper during manufacture that is visible when the paper is held up to the light

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More from Merriam-Webster on watermark

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with watermark

Spanish Central: Translation of watermark

Nglish: Translation of watermark for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about watermark

Comments on watermark

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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