[waw-terz, wot-erz]


Ethel,1896–1977, U.S. singer and actress.
Mud·dy [muhd-ee] /ˈmʌd i/, McKinley Morganfield, 1915–83, U.S. blues singer and musician.


[waw-ter, wot-er]


a transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid, a compound of hydrogen and oxygen, H2O, freezing at 32°F or 0°C and boiling at 212°F or 100°C, that in a more or less impure state constitutes rain, oceans, lakes, rivers, etc.: it contains 11.188 percent hydrogen and 88.812 percent oxygen, by weight.
a special form or variety of this liquid, as rain.
Often waters. this liquid in an impure state as obtained from a mineral spring: Last year we went to Marienbad for the waters.
the liquid content of a river, inlet, etc., with reference to its relative height, especially as dependent on tide: a difference of 20 feet between high and low water.
the surface of a stream, river, lake, ocean, etc.: above, below, or on the water.
  1. flowing water, or water moving in waves: The river's mighty waters.
  2. the sea or seas bordering a particular country or continent or located in a particular part of the world: We left San Diego and sailed south for Mexican waters.
a liquid solution or preparation, especially one used for cosmetic purposes: lavender water; lemon water.
Often waters. Medicine/Medical.
  1. amniotic fluid.
  2. the bag of waters; amnion: Her water broke at 2 a.m.
any of various solutions of volatile or gaseous substances in water: ammonia water.
any liquid or aqueous organic secretion, exudation, humor, or the like, as tears, perspiration, or urine.
Finance. fictitious assets or the inflated values they give to the stock of a corporation.
a wavy, lustrous pattern or marking, as on silk fabrics or metal surfaces.
(formerly) the degree of transparency and brilliancy of a diamond or other precious stone.
take water, (of a boat) to allow water to enter through leaks or portholes or over the side.

verb (used with object)

to sprinkle, moisten, or drench with water: to water the flowers; to water a street.
to supply (animals) with water for drinking.
to furnish with a supply of water, as a ship.
to furnish water to (a region), as by streams; supply (land) with water, as by irrigation: The valley is watered by a branch of the Colorado River. Our land is watered by the All-American Canal.
to dilute, weaken, soften, or adulterate with, or as with, water (often followed by down): to water soup; to water down an unfavorable report.
Finance. to issue or increase the par value of (shares of stock) without having the assets to warrant doing so (often followed by down).
to produce a wavy, lustrous pattern, marking, or finish on (fabrics, metals, etc.): watered silk.

verb (used without object)

to discharge, fill with, or secrete water or liquid, as the eyes when irritated, or as the mouth at the sight or thought of tempting food.
to drink water, as an animal.
to take in a supply of water, as a ship: Our ship will water at Savannah.


of or relating to water in any way: a water journey.
holding, or designed to hold, water: a water jug.
worked or powered by water: a water turbine.
heating, pumping, or circulating water (often used in combination): hot-water furnace; city waterworks.
used in or on water: water skis.
containing or prepared with water, as for hardening or dilution: water mortar.
located or occurring on, in, or by water: water music; water frontage.
residing by or in, or ruling over, water: water people; water deities.

Origin of water

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English wæter; cognate with Dutch water, German Wasser; akin to Old Norse vain, Gothic wato, Hittite watar, Greek hýdōr; (v.) Middle English wateren, Old English wæterian, derivative of the noun

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

Examples from the Web for waters

British Dictionary definitions for waters


pl n (ˈwɔːtəz)

any body of sea, or seas regarded as sharing some common qualityIrish territorial waters; uncharted tropical waters
physiol (sometimes singular) the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus in the womb



Muddy, real name McKinley Morganfield. 1915–83, US blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His songs include "Rollin' Stone" (1948) and "Got my Mojo Working" (1954)



a clear colourless tasteless odourless liquid that is essential for plant and animal life and constitutes, in impure form, rain, oceans, rivers, lakes, etc. It is a neutral substance, an effective solvent for many compounds, and is used as a standard for many physical properties. Formula: H 2 ORelated adjective: aqueous Related combining forms: hydro-, aqua-
  1. any body or area of this liquid, such as a sea, lake, river, etc
  2. (as modifier)water sports; water transport; a water plant Related adjective: aquatic
the surface of such a body or areafish swam below the water
any form or variety of this liquid, such as rain
any of various solutions of chemical substances in waterlithia water; ammonia water
  1. any fluid secreted from the body, such as sweat, urine, or tears
  2. (usually plural)the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus in the womb
a wavy lustrous finish on some fabrics, esp silk
archaic the degree of brilliance in a diamondSee also first water
excellence, quality, or degree (in the phrase of the first water)
  1. capital stock issued without a corresponding increase in paid-up capital, so that the book value of the company's capital is not fully represented by assets or earning power
  2. the fictitious or unrealistic asset entries that reflect such inflated book value of capital
(modifier) astrology of or relating to the three signs of the zodiac Cancer, Scorpio, and PiscesCompare air (def. 20), earth (def. 10), fire (def. 24)
above the water informal out of trouble or difficulty, esp financial trouble
hold water to prove credible, logical, or consistentthe alibi did not hold water
in deep water in trouble or difficulty
make water
  1. to urinate
  2. (of a boat, hull, etc) to let in water
pass water to urinate
test the water See test 1 (def. 5)
throw cold water on or pour cold water on informal to be unenthusiastic about or discourage
water under the bridge events that are past and done with


(tr) to sprinkle, moisten, or soak with water
(tr often foll by down) to weaken by the addition of water
(intr) (of the eyes) to fill with tears
(intr) (of the mouth) to salivate, esp in anticipation of food (esp in the phrase make one's mouth water)
(tr) to irrigate or provide with waterto water the land; he watered the cattle
(intr) to drink water
(intr) (of a ship, etc) to take in a supply of water
(tr) finance to raise the par value of (issued capital stock) without a corresponding increase in the real value of assets
(tr) to produce a wavy lustrous finish on (fabrics, esp silk)
See also water down

Derived Formswaterer, nounwaterish, adjectivewaterless, adjectivewater-like, adjective

Word Origin for water

Old English wæter, of Germanic origin; compare Old Saxon watar, Old High German wazzar, Gothic watō, Old Slavonic voda; related to Greek hudor

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 waters
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for waters




A clear, colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid essential for most plant and animal life and the most widely used of all solvents. Freezing point 0°C (32°F); boiling point 100°C (212°F); specific gravity (4°C) 1.0000; weight per gallon (15°C) 8.338 pounds (3.782 kilograms).
Any of the liquids that are present in or passed out of the body, such as urine, perspiration, tears, or saliva.
The fluid that surrounds a fetus in the uterus; amniotic fluid.
An aqueous solution of a substance, especially a gas.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for waters



A colorless, odorless compound of hydrogen and oxygen. Water covers about three-quarters of the Earth's surface in solid form (ice) and liquid form, and is prevalent in the lower atmosphere in its gaseous form, water vapor. Water is an unusually good solvent for a large variety of substances, and is an essential component of all organisms, being necessary for most biological processes. Unlike most substances, water is less dense as ice than in liquid form; thus, ice floats on liquid water. Water freezes at 0°C (32°F) and boils at 100°C (212°F). Chemical formula: H2O.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with waters


In addition to the idioms beginning with water

  • water down
  • water over the dam

also see:

  • above water
  • backwater
  • blood is thicker than water
  • blow out (of the water)
  • come on in (the water's fine)
  • dead in the water
  • fish in troubled waters
  • fish out of water
  • head above water
  • hell or high water
  • high-water mark
  • hold water
  • hot water
  • in deep (water)
  • keep one's head (above water)
  • like water off a duck's back
  • make one's mouth water
  • muddy the waters
  • of the first water
  • pour cold water on
  • pour oil on troubled waters
  • still waters run deep
  • take to (like a duck to water)
  • throw out the baby with the bath water
  • tread water
  • you can lead a horse to water
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.