wa·​ter·​mark | \ˈwȯ-tər-ˌmärk, 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

The boost to the economy with an influx of new homes and businesses is already being felt throughout the county, but the imminent construction of SH-99 is a watermark moment in the life and history of the county. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "SH-99 construction drawing near in Liberty County," 26 June 2018 Ballot papers carrying a watermark but not the ballot box committee's official stamp will be considered valid, something that led to allegations of fraud during last year's referendum. Zeynep Bilginsoy, Fox News, "A look at dual elections in Turkey testing Erdogan's power," 22 June 2018 Ballot papers carrying a watermark but not the ballot box committee’s official stamp will be considered valid, something that led to allegations of fraud during last year’s referendum. Washington Post, "A look at dual elections in Turkey testing Erdogan’s power," 22 June 2018 The watermark is a familiar sign to most people in the entire world. Jacoba Urist, Smithsonian, "Maya Freelon’s Immersive and Interactive Sculptures Bring Tissue Paper to Life," 21 June 2018 Andrew Heaney entered the 2013 season as a top prospect, reaching a high watermark of No. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Finally Healthy, Andrew Heaney Demands Your Attention," 25 May 2018 Adding a watermark that clearly signifies the original poster is a good start, as is giving that person a shoutout in the caption of the post. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Rules of Regramming," 18 Mar. 2018 Their 13 hits were three shy of the season-high 16 collected in Monday’s 13-5 win in Colorado, also the watermark for runs scored in game this season. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Villanueva stays hot in costly Padres win," 28 Apr. 2018 Escape to Victory and Fever Pitch remain the high watermarks of the genre - although the latter features little on the pitch scenes. SI.com, "Jamie Vardy Admits He's Unsure if Hollywood Is After 'Fairytale' World Cup Ending to Complete Biopic," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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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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, 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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