wet work

variants: or less commonly wetwork

Definition of wet work

1 : work involving water or wet substances All wet work, such as concrete, masonry, plaster, drywall and paint must be complete and dry.— Daniel Boone, Floor Covering Installer, 1 May 2010 It is a frequent problem among individuals who perform “wet work” such as homemakers, bartenders, hairdressers, dental workers, and health care workers; repetitive wetting and drying of the hands leads to dryness and redness.— Deborah A. Kedrowski and Erin M. Warshaw, Dermatology Nursing, 1 Feb. 2008
2 : work involving murder or assassination used euphemistically… the intelligence service became infamous as a subcontractor for the K.G.B. and earned a grim reputation for its particular expertise in “wet work,” the assassination of enemies.— Andrew Higgins, New York Times, 25 Dec. 2013… if you do wet work for the CIA … you probably don't want to drive to the job site in this huge, thinly veiled military vehicle.— Al Haas, Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 June 1998

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First Known Use of wet work

1731, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of wet work was in 1731

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Cite this Entry

“Wet work.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wet%20work. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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