water

1 of 2

noun

wa·​ter ˈwȯ-tər How to pronounce water (audio) ˈwä- How to pronounce water (audio)
often attributive
1
a
: the liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms streams, lakes, and seas, and is a major constituent of all living matter and that when pure is an odorless, tasteless, very slightly compressible liquid oxide of hydrogen H2O which appears bluish in thick layers, freezes at 0° C and boils at 100° C, has a maximum density at 4° C and a high specific heat, is feebly ionized to hydrogen and hydroxyl ions, and is a poor conductor of electricity and a good solvent
b
: a natural mineral water
usually used in plural
2
: a particular quantity or body of water: such as
a(1)
waters ˈwȯ-tərz How to pronounce water (audio)
ˈwä-
plural : the water occupying or flowing in a particular bed
(2)
chiefly British : lake, pond
b
: a quantity or depth of water adequate for some purpose (such as navigation)
c waters plural
(1)
: a band of seawater abutting on the land of a particular sovereignty and under the control of that sovereignty
(2)
: the sea of a particular part of the earth
d
: water supply
threatened to turn off the water
3
: travel or transportation on water
we went by water
4
: the level of water at a particular state of the tide : tide
5
: liquid containing or resembling water: such as
a(1)
: a pharmaceutical or cosmetic preparation made with water
(2)
: a watery solution of a gaseous or readily volatile substance compare ammonia water
b
archaic : a distilled fluid (as an essence)
especially : a distilled alcoholic liquor
c
: a watery fluid (such as tears, urine, or sap) formed or circulating in a living body
6
a
: the degree of clarity and luster of a precious stone
b
: degree of excellence
a scholar of the first water
7
8
a
: stock not representing assets of the issuing company and not backed by earning power
b
: fictitious or exaggerated asset entries that give a stock an unrealistic book value

water

2 of 2

verb

watered; watering; waters

transitive verb

1
: to moisten, sprinkle, or soak with water
water the lawn
2
: to supply with water for drink
water cattle
3
: to supply water to
lands watered by the river
4
: to treat with or as if with water
specifically : to impart a lustrous appearance and wavy pattern to (cloth) by calendering
5
a
: to dilute by the addition of water
often used with down
water down the punch
b
: to add to the aggregate par value of (securities) without a corresponding addition to the assets represented by the securities

intransitive verb

1
: to form or secrete water or watery matter (such as tears or saliva)
2
: to get or take water: such as
a
: to take on a supply of water
the boat docked to water
b
: to drink water
Phrases
above water
: out of difficulty

Example Sentences

Noun Would you like a glass of water? There's water dripping from the ceiling. The kids love playing in the water. A stick was floating on the water. They like to vacation near the water. We are sailing in international waters. They were fishing in Canadian waters. Verb We need to water the lawn. They fed and watered the horses in the barn. My eyes were watering as I chopped the onions. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Their boat was taking on water but not enough to sink it entirely. Morgan Winsor, ABC News, 24 Nov. 2022 The Brazilians insisted the water in their hotel pool be heated to exactly 90 degrees and the New Zealanders asked for golf lessons. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2022 The boy’s mother, Melissa Stanton, said her son was fascinated by water, according to a report by WFTV-Channel 9. Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel, 24 Nov. 2022 When closed, the water helps form an airtight seal, which keeps the butter fresh while the crock is left unrefrigerated. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 24 Nov. 2022 Another detail in that set to look out for is the reflecting pond, which has a sculpture of Ophelia rising out of its black water. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 23 Nov. 2022 There’s truth to both arguments, and the safety net has, in fact, helped many people temporarily keep their heads above water. Matt Weidinger, National Review, 23 Nov. 2022 If given lots of space, with the proper diet and water conditions, carp species, including goldfish and koi, have the potential for a large amount of growth, which explains Carrot's impressive size. Taylor Nicioli, CNN, 23 Nov. 2022 As its name suggests, the key to this formula is hyaluronic acid, an ingredient known for its water-retaining abilities and hydrating properties. Jennifer Hussein And Angela Trakoshis, Allure, 23 Nov. 2022
Verb
None of the Park Ridge Garden Club’s members had to lift a finger to water hanging baskets at the plant sale Saturday. Chicago Tribune, 24 May 2022 Some point to the drier-than-usual climate, which caused Californians to water their lawns and gardens more often than usual at the start of the year. Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2022 If one of your shrubs or newly planted trees begins to wilt, water it generously at the base so that the root ball is soaked. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, 30 July 2020 Sound in theory, the rule likely won’t come into play without attempts to water it down from businesses, like Uber and DoorDash, that save massively on labor costs thanks to the gig system. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 12 Oct. 2022 In early fall, sow seeds directly into beds, and water them every couple of days. Nevin Martell, Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2022 Be sure to water it when the soil is dry to the touch — every week or so. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 21 Sep. 2022 One of the trickiest parts of growing houseplants for me is knowing (and remembering) how much to water them. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Sep. 2022 Know someone who wants plants but will likely forget to water them? Ysolt Usigan, Woman's Day, 16 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'water.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Old English wæter; akin to Old High German wazzar water, Greek hydōr, Latin unda wave

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of water was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near water

Cite this Entry

“Water.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

water 1 of 2

noun

wa·​ter ˈwȯt-ər How to pronounce water (audio) ˈwät- How to pronounce water (audio)
1
: the liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms streams, lakes, and seas, and is a major part of all living material and that is an odorless and tasteless compound having two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen per molecule
2
plural : an area of seawater bordering on and under the control of a country
sailing Canadian waters
3
: travel or transportation on water
came by water
4
: the level of water at a particular state of the tide : tide
5
: a liquid containing or resembling water
especially : a watery fluid (as tears, urine, or sap) formed or circulating in a living body
waterless
-ləs
adjective

water

2 of 2

verb

1
: to wet or supply with water
water horses
water the lawn
2
: to weaken by or as if by the addition of water
someone watered down the punch
3
: to form or give off water or watery matter (as tears or saliva)
smog makes my eyes water

Medical Definition

water 1 of 2

noun

wa·​ter ˈwȯt-ər How to pronounce water (audio) ˈwät- How to pronounce water (audio)
1
: the liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms streams, lakes, and seas, and is a major constituent of all living matter and that is an odorless, tasteless, very slightly compressible liquid oxide of hydrogen H2O which appears bluish in thick layers, freezes at 0°C (32°F) and boils at 100°C (212°F), has a maximum density at 4°C (39°F) and a high specific heat, is feebly ionized to hydrogen and hydroxyl ions, and is a poor conductor of electricity and a good solvent
2
: liquid containing or resembling water: as
a(1)
: a pharmaceutical or cosmetic preparation made with water
(2)
: a watery solution of a gaseous or readily volatile substance see ammonia water
b
: a watery fluid (as tears or urine) formed or circulating in a living body
c
: amniotic fluid
often used in plural
also : bag of waters

water

2 of 2

intransitive verb

: to form or secrete water or watery matter (as tears or saliva)

More from Merriam-Webster on water

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