[ waw-ter-proof, wot-er- ]
/ ˈwɔ tərˌpruf, ˈwɒt ər- /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: waterproof / waterproofed / waterproofing / waterproofs on Thesaurus.com

impervious to water.
rendered impervious to water by some special process, as coating or treating with rubber: a waterproof hat.
Chiefly British. a raincoat or other outer coat impervious to water.
any of several coated or rubberized fabrics that are impervious to water.
verb (used with object)
to make waterproof.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of waterproof

First recorded in 1730–40; water + -proof


wa·ter·proof·er, nounwa·ter·proof·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does waterproof mean?

If something is waterproof, water can’t soak it or get inside of it. For example, waterproof boots will keep your feet dry even if you walk in water.

Waterproof is also commonly used as a verb meaning to make something waterproof, as in We need to waterproof this basement so it won’t flood during rainstorms. 

Waterproof is sometimes used in the U.K. as a noun to refer to a waterproof garment, especially a raincoat, as in It’s raining, so you’d better wear your waterproof.

Example: Make sure you get a waterproof tent—the ones that are only water-resistant can still let the rain in.

Where does waterproof come from?

The first records of waterproof come from the 1600s, but it wasn’t used in its current sense until the 1700s. The suffix -proof means “impervious or resistant to,” and is used in words like fireproof and bulletproof.

If something is waterproof, it means it is completely impervious or resistant to water—water won’t damage it, penetrate it, or otherwise change it. Sometimes, there’s no harm in getting wet, but water can damage things (like electronics) or make them uncomfortable (like socks). A lot of outdoor gear, like gloves, boots, and raincoats, is often labeled as waterproof or water-resistant, but these two things are not the same. If you want a raincoat that is truly impervious to all water, you want a waterproof one. Water-resistant means it will repel water but some water may still be able to penetrate the surface. Of course, truly waterproof items are often more expensive.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to waterproof?

  • waterproofer (noun)
  • waterproofness (noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with waterproof

What are some words that often get used in discussing waterproof?

What are some words waterproof may be commonly confused with?

How is waterproof used in real life?

Many products are made to specifically be waterproof, and the word is often used as a selling point when advertising such items.



Try using waterproof!

True or False?

Something labeled water-resistant is usually the same as something labeled waterproof.

How to use waterproof in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for waterproof

/ (ˈwɔːtəˌpruːf) /

not penetrable by waterCompare water-repellent, water-resistant
mainly British a waterproof garment, esp a raincoat
verb (tr)
to make (a fabric, item of clothing, etc) waterproof
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