• synonyms


[waw-ter-kres, wot-er-]
  1. a cress, Nasturtium officinale, of the mustard family, usually growing in clear, running streams and having pungent leaves.
  2. the leaves, used for salads, soups, and as a garnish.
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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. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for watercress


  1. 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)
  2. any of several similar or related plants
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper