Origin of wet

before 900; Middle English wett, past participle of weten, Old English wǣtan to wet; replacing Middle English weet, Old English wǣt, cognate with Old Frisian wēt, Old Norse vātr; akin to water


1 dampened, drenched.
4 misty, drizzling.
7 humid.
11 drizzle.
14 Wet, drench, saturate, soak imply moistening something. To wet is to moisten in any manner with water or other liquid: to wet or dampen a cloth. Drench suggests wetting completely as by a downpour: A heavy rain drenched the fields. Saturate implies wetting to the limit of absorption: to saturate a sponge. To soak is to keep in a liquid for a time: to soak beans before baking.

Related forms

Can be confused

wet whet

Definition for wet (2 of 2)

De Wet

[ duh wet ]
/ də ˈwɛt /


Chris·ti·an Ru·dolph [kris-chuh n roo-dolf, -dawlf; Dutch kris-tee-ahn ry-dolf] /ˈkrɪs tʃən ˈru dɒlf, -dɔlf; Dutch ˈkrɪs tiˌɑn ˈrü dɒlf/, 1854–1922, Boer general and politician. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wet

British Dictionary definitions for wet (1 of 2)


/ (wɛt) /

adjective wetter or wettest


verb wets, wetting, wet or wetted

Derived Forms

Word Origin for wet

Old English wǣt; related to Old Frisian wēt, Old Norse vātr, Old Slavonic vedro bucket

British Dictionary definitions for wet (2 of 2)

de Wet

/ (də ˈvɛt) /


Christian Rudolf. 1854–1922, Afrikaner military commander and politician, who led the Orange Free State army in the second Boer War (1899–1902). He was imprisoned for treason (1914) after organizing an Afrikaner nationalist rebellion
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

Idioms and Phrases with wet


In addition to the idioms beginning with wet

  • wet behind the ears
  • wet blanket
  • wet one's whistle

also see:

  • all wet
  • get one's feet wet
  • like (wet as) a drowned rat
  • mad as a hornet (wet hen)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.