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[waw-ter-kres, wot-er-] /ˈwɔ tərˌkrɛs, ˈwɒt ər-/
a cress, Nasturtium officinale, of the mustard family, usually growing in clear, running streams and having pungent leaves.
the leaves, used for salads, soups, and as a garnish.
Origin of watercress
1300-50; Middle English; cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German waterkerse. See water, cress Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for watercress
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The perch, although a large one, had all been eaten, and all the watercress had disappeared.

    Nobody's Girl Hector Malot
  • The varied hyphenation of "watercress" and "water-cress" was retained.

  • Bacon and eggs, or chops or steaks, with watercress if obtainable.

    American Football Walter Camp
  • Clean and wash the watercress well, and season with salt and vinegar.

  • This is once more supplied by a temporary cylinder of watercress roots.

    The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre
  • watercress for choice—next best are small salad and lettuce (plain).

    Boating W. B. Woodgate
  • Mix with watercress, carefully picked over, and French dressing.

British Dictionary definitions for watercress


an Old World plant, Nasturtium officinale, of clear ponds and streams, having pungent leaves that are used in salads and as a garnish: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)
any of several similar or related plants
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 watercress

also water-cress, c.1400, from water (n.1) + cress. Cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch waterkerse, German wasserkresse. It grows in or near streams.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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