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[waw-ter-loo, wot-er-, waw-ter-loo, wot-er-; for 1 also Flemish vah-tuh r-loh] /ˈwɔ tərˌlu, ˈwɒt ər-, ˌwɔ tərˈlu, ˌwɒt ər-; for 1 also Flemish ˈvɑ tərˌloʊ/
a village in central Belgium, south of Brussels: Napoleon decisively defeated here on June 18, 1815.
a decisive or crushing defeat:
The candidate met her Waterloo in the national elections.
a city in E Iowa.
a city in SE Ontario, in S Canada. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Waterloo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When that day arrived I walked into Salisbury and took the train to Waterloo.

  • Napoleon returned from the disaster at Waterloo with all his hopes blighted.

  • The whole Peninsular war forms a commentary on this text, with Waterloo for a crowning lesson.

    Battles of English History H. B. (Hereford Brooke) George
  • Look at it there, in his chest, on the left—just where Vincileone was hit at Waterloo.

    Columba Prosper Merimee
  • Waterloo Station in war time presents a picture of unending interest.

British Dictionary definitions for Waterloo


a small town in central Belgium, in Walloon Brabant province south of Brussels: battle (1815) fought nearby in which British and Prussian forces under the Duke of Wellington and Blücher routed the French under Napoleon. Pop: 29 003 (2004 est)
a total or crushing defeat (esp in meet one's Waterloo)
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 Waterloo

battle took place June 18, 1815, at village near Brussels; extended sense of "a final, crushing defeat" is first attested 1816 in letter of Lord Byron. The second element in the place name is from Flemish loo "sacred wood."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with Waterloo


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