[waw-ter-kres, wot-er-]


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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for watercress

Contemporary Examples of watercress

  • More foraging pressure is being placed on locations with good water quality, as in the case of watercress.

  • We also do a similar dish at Landmarc that I serve with watercress and lemon.

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  • It is also versatile as a soup base; add watercress and you have watercress soup, or stir in cream and chill it for a vichyssoise.

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Historical Examples of watercress

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

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