wet

1 of 3

adjective

wetter; wettest
1
a
: consisting of, containing, covered with, or soaked with liquid (such as water)
b
of natural gas : containing appreciable quantities of readily condensable hydrocarbons
2
: rainy
wet weather
3
: still moist enough to smudge or smear
wet paint
4
a
: drunk sense 1a
a wet driver
b
: having or advocating a policy permitting the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages
a wet county
a wet candidate
5
: preserved in liquid
6
: employing or done by means of or in the presence of water or other liquid
wet extraction of copper
7
: overly sentimental
8
British
a
: lacking strength of character : weak, spineless
b
: belonging to the moderate or liberal wing of the Conservative party
wetly adverb
wetness noun

wet

2 of 3

noun

1
: water
also : moisture, wetness
2
: rainy weather : rain
3
: an advocate of a policy of permitting the sale of intoxicating liquors
4
British : one who is wet

wet

3 of 3

verb

wet or wetted; wetting

transitive verb

1
: to make wet
2
: to urinate in or on
wet his pants

intransitive verb

1
: to become wet
2
Phrases
all wet
: completely wrong : in error
wet behind the ears wet one's whistle
: to take a drink especially of liquor
Choose the Right Synonym for wet

wet, damp, dank, moist, humid mean covered or more or less soaked with liquid.

wet usually implies saturation but may suggest a covering of a surface with water or something (such as paint) not yet dry.

slipped on the wet pavement

damp implies a slight or moderate absorption and often connotes an unpleasant degree of moisture.

clothes will mildew if stored in a damp place

dank implies a more distinctly disagreeable or unwholesome dampness.

a prisoner in a cold, dank cell

moist applies to what is slightly damp or not felt as dry.

treat the injury with moist heat

humid applies to the presence of much water vapor in the air.

a hot, humid climate

Example Sentences

Adjective a pile of wet clothes Be careful not to slip on the wet floor. My hair is still wet. My shoes got wet when I stepped in the puddle. The grass was wet with dew. Don't touch the paint. It's still wet. Noun We stayed out in the wet all afternoon. winced as he walked out into the wet without any protection Verb I wet a sponge under the faucet. Avoid wetting the leaves when you water the plant. The morning dew had wet his shoes. The little boy accidentally wet his pants. I laughed so hard I almost wet myself. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Plus, the soles can grip wet, dry, and frozen surfaces with ease. John Thompson, Men's Health, 11 Nov. 2022 The city does not accept wet, moldy, dirty, or bulky items. Bailey Allen, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Nov. 2022 Mix the dry ingredients together, then the wet, and finally combine them all. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, 31 Oct. 2022 Will Britain’s winter be mild and wet, or cold and dry? Denise Roland, WSJ, 29 Oct. 2022 Some other creatures are at the center of the classic Gremlins, which wreak havoc on a town at Christmas after mutating from their cuddly, lovable mogwai form after 1) getting wet, or 2) eating after midnight. Gerrad Hall, EW.com, 28 Oct. 2022 Simply wet and scrub the brush into the block soap and then use the brush to clean your dishes. Maya Polton, Better Homes & Gardens, 24 Oct. 2022 Inside, the jacket is stuffed with synthetic Coreloft, Arc’teryx’s proprietary siliconized polyester insulation that retains warmth even when wet—and is less bulky than other loose-fill insulators. Lily Krass, Outside Online, 18 Oct. 2022 But by the end of his walk, there isn’t a single wet hair on his head. Cameron Jenkins, Good Housekeeping, 31 Oct. 2022
Noun
As a wet-behind-the-ears engineer designing chips, I was hired by Paine Webber to track semiconductor companies soon after the bull’s birth. Andy Kessler, WSJ, 7 Aug. 2022 His 1967 Chevrolet Camaro is undeniably quick, but there's one problem: he's never raced it in the wet. Gregory Leporati, Ars Technica, 10 July 2022 Their wide-brimmed, straw Easter bonnets were perfect guards against the wet. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2022 Next, Greene says, fill the vessel with just enough water to avoid getting the leaf wet. Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2021 That seesaw in weather conditions—from bone dry to sopping wet—is a taste of what’s to come as the Earth heats up, scientists say. Anne C. Mulkern, Scientific American, 27 Oct. 2021 Understanding the catastrophes that preceded Mars’ transition from a wet to a dry planet could offer clues about where the Earth’s own geological future is headed, Coradini said. orlandosentinel.com, 22 Oct. 2021 Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, then fold in most of the chocolate chips. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, 8 Oct. 2021 Bea stared at the flared ends of her trousers, soaking up the wet. Esther Freud, The New Yorker, 20 Sep. 2021
Verb
To use it, simply wet the surface that needs to be cleaned, sprinkle some Barkeepers Friend on the item, and then use a damp sponge or cloth to clean the residue off. Maya Polton, Better Homes & Gardens, 24 Oct. 2022 To make the polka dots easy to pick up, wet your fingertip with a damp cloth before pressing them onto your Easter eggs. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Oct. 2022 Apply a clear polish first to use as an adhesive, wet the sticker and after placing it, seal the nail with a layer (or two) of top coat. Dori Price, Good Housekeeping, 23 Sep. 2022 In a shop, a grenadier’s wife crowed that before Tuesday the soldiers would wet their swords in New England blood. Stacy Schiff, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Sep. 2022 If stain remains, wet the area carefully with cool, sudsy water spiked with a little vinegar. Caitlin Sole, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Sep. 2022 Once water is hot, wet the filter with 1⁄4 cup of water and dispose of the water that drips through. Sunset Magazine, 20 May 2022 The biggest problem early on when plants are trying to root into the surrounding soil is a dry root ball or too little moisture to wet the planting site. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 17 Sep. 2022 Many vomit or wet themselves, and some give up flying altogether. Kate Murphy, WSJ, 9 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, partly from past participle of weten to wet & partly from Old English wǣt wet; akin to Old Norse vātr wet, Old English wæter water

Verb

Middle English weten, from Old English wǣtan, from wǣt, adjective

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near wet

Cite this Entry

“Wet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wet. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

wet 1 of 3

adjective

wetter; wettest
1
: containing, covered with, or soaked with liquid (as water)
2
: rainy
wet weather
3
: not yet dry
wet paint
all wet
: completely wrong : mistaken
wetly adverb
wetness noun

wet

2 of 3

noun

1
2
3
: rainy weather : rain

wet

3 of 3

verb

wet or wetted; wetting
1
: to make or become wet
2
: to urinate in or on
wet his pants

Medical Definition

: marked by the presence or abundance of fluid (as secretions or effusions)
the wet form of age-related macular degeneration

More from Merriam-Webster on wet

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