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[dish-waw-ter, -wot-er] /ˈdɪʃˌwɔ tər, -ˌwɒt ər/
water in which dishes are, or have been, washed.
dull as dishwater / ditchwater, extremely dull; boring.
Origin of dishwater
First recorded in 1475-85; dish + water Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dishwater
Historical Examples
  • If you spill any of the dishwater on the floor, it flattens out.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • And as if this was not enough, she threatened to throw the dishwater on me.

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • Here I go off and have an adventure and she has to slop around in dishwater.

    Uncle Wiggily in Wonderland Howard R. Garis
  • As to the spoons, they get thrown away with the dishwater and sometimes into the fire.

  • He'd better pay his board bill today or she'd throw him out like dishwater.

    Plowing On Sunday Sterling North
  • So here we are—and I'm as dull as dishwater and so lonesome!

    The Slipper Point Mystery Augusta Huiell Seaman
  • Si had thoughtlessly flung some dishwater into the company street.

  • Jud turned from his pan of dishwater to cast a frightened glance over his shoulder.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Soon the dishwater ceased, and they felt freshly broken earth under their feet.

  • Her hands and arms were red and dripping and from a dim region at the rear came the smell of dishwater.

    Jane Journeys On Ruth Comfort Mitchell
British Dictionary definitions for dishwater


water in which dishes and kitchen utensils are or have been washed
something resembling this: that was dishwater, not coffee
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dishwater

also dish-water, "water where dishes have been washed," late 15c., from dish (n.) + water (n.). Used figuratively of weak broth, coffee, etc., from 1719.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dishwater



Weak and scarcely drinkable soup, coffee, etc (1719+)

Related Terms

dull as dishwater

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with dishwater


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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