View synonyms for Waterloo


[ waw-ter-loo, wot-er-, waw-ter-loo, wot-er-; Flemish vah-tuhr-loh ]


  1. a village in central Belgium, south of Brussels: Napoleon decisively defeated here on June 18, 1815.
  2. a decisive or crushing defeat:

    The candidate met her Waterloo in the national elections.

  3. a city in E Iowa.
  4. a city in SE Ontario, in S Canada.


/ ˌwɔːtəˈluː /


  1. 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)
  2. a total or crushing defeat (esp in meet one's Waterloo )

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Idioms and Phrases

see meet one's waterloo .

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Example Sentences

Simultaneously, the 1980s farm crisis had taken a toll on Waterloo’s other big employer, John Deere, which laid off thousands.

Waterloo was, in many ways, primed for an outbreak, and the reason lies in its history, which reflects the meatpacking industry’s dramatic transformation over the past half century.

There was somebody coming from the infected plant out of Columbus Junction into Waterloo, potentially bringing that infection with them.

The coronavirus crept through Waterloo, Iowa, quietly at first.

It’s this concept that the Waterloo team’s methodology is based on.

In one corner is Democrat Bruce Braley, a four-term congressman from the industrial city of Waterloo.

The midseason finale of Mad Men, titled “Waterloo,” opened with Apollo 11 taking off toward the moon.

“Waterloo” closes with a predictable ode to Robert Morse, the 83-year-old actor who played the late Bert Cooper.

Betting everything on a “Waterloo” campaign to smash the Obama presidency was simply reckless.

Following the famous defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon was exiled once more—this time to an island much further away.

But instead of the thanks he had expected he found himself saddled with the blame of the loss of Waterloo.

It seems, however, that he came in about a quarter-past nine, and sent Barker on a message to Waterloo Station.

Of course at Waterloo a spirit like our guide's cannot fail to be deeply moved, and to turn to his favorite poet for sympathy.

Why was not every private man's name written upon the stones in Waterloo Church as well as every officer's?

The very best and most daring poacher I know lives within five-and-twenty minutes' journey from Waterloo.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




waterloggedWaterloo, Battle of