wa·ter (wôtər, wŏtər)
1. A clear, colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid, H2O, essential for most plant and animal life and the most widely used of all solvents. Freezing point 0°C (32°F); boiling point 100°C (212°F); specific gravity (4°C) 1.0000; weight per gallon (15°C) 8.338 pounds (3.782 kilograms).
a. Any of various forms of water: waste water.
b. often waters Naturally occurring mineral water, as at a spa.
a. A body of water such as a sea, lake, river, or stream.
b. waters A particular stretch of sea or ocean, especially that of a state or country: escorted out of British waters.
a. A supply of water: had to turn off the water while repairing the broken drain.
b. A water supply system.
a. Any of the fluids normally secreted from the body, such as urine, perspiration, tears, or saliva.
b. A fluid present in a body part in abnormal quantities as a result of injury or disease: water on the knee.
c. The fluid surrounding a fetus in the uterus; amniotic fluid.
6. An aqueous solution of a substance, especially a gas: ammonia water.
7. A wavy finish or sheen, as of a fabric or metal.
a. The valuation of the assets of a business firm beyond their real value.
b. Stock issued in excess of paid-in capital.
a. The transparency and luster of a gem.
b. A level of excellence.
v. wa·tered, wa·ter·ing, wa·ters
1. To pour or sprinkle water on; make wet: watered the garden.
a. To give drinking water to.
b. To lead (an animal) to drinking water.
3. To dilute or weaken by adding water: a bar serving whiskey that had been watered.
4. To give a sheen to the surface of (fabric or metal).
5. To increase (the number of shares of stock) without increasing the value of the assets represented.
6. To irrigate (land).
1. To produce or discharge fluid, as from the eyes.
2. To salivate in anticipation of food: The wonderful aroma from the kitchen makes my mouth water.
3. To take on a supply of water, as a ship.
4. To drink water, as an animal.
To reduce the strength or effectiveness of: "It seemed clear by late autumn that the ban would be significantly watered down or removed altogether before the trade bill became law" (George R. Packard).
1. Being or holding an asset that is worth more than its purchase price or the debt owed on it.
2. Making more than enough money to meet financial obligations.
1. Being or holding an asset that is worth less than its purchase price or the debt owed on it.
2. Not making enough money to meet financial obligations.
water under the bridge
A past occurrence, especially something unfortunate, that cannot be undone or rectified: All that is now just water under the bridge.
[Middle English, from Old English wæter; see wed-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.