American English

Definition of water noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ˈwɑt̮ər//
    jump to other results
  1. 1[uncountable] a liquid without color, smell, or taste that falls as rain, is in lakes, rivers, and oceans, and is used for drinking, washing, etc. a glass of water drinking water water pollution clean/dirty water water shortages There is hot and cold running water in all the bedrooms. The water (= the supply of water) was turned off for several hours each day during the drought. see also bathwater
  2. 2[uncountable] an area of water, especially a lake, river, or ocean We walked down to the water's edge. She fell into the water. shallow/deep water In the lagoon the water was calm. see also backwater, breakwater
  3. 3waters [plural] the water in a particular lake, river, or ocean the gray waters of the Mississippi This species is found in coastal waters around the Indian Ocean.
  4. 4[uncountable] the surface of a mass of water She dived under the water. The leaves floated on the water. He disappeared under the water. I could see my reflection in the water. see also underwater
  5. 5waters [plural] an area of ocean belonging to a particular country We were still in American waters. fishing in international waters see also territorial waters
  6. 6waters [plural] murky, uncharted, stormy, dangerous, etc. water used to describe a situation, usually one that is difficult, dangerous, or not familiar The conversation got into the murky waters of jealousy and relationships. The government has warned of stormy waters ahead. I was going into uncharted waters. There are many other compounds ending in water. You will find them at their place in the alphabet.
  7. Idioms
    be in/get into hot water (informal)
    jump to other results
    to be in or get into trouble
    blood is thicker than water (saying)
    jump to other results
    family relationships are stronger than any others
      blow somebody/something out of the water (informal)
      jump to other results
    1. 1to destroy someone or something completely
    2. 2to show that someone or something is not good by being very much better than it/them A DVD music system plays disks that look like CDs, but blows them out of the water.
    by water (formal)
    jump to other results
    using a boat or ship They reached Naples by water.
    dead in the water
    jump to other results
    a person or plan that is dead in the water has failed and has little hope of succeeding in the future His leadership campaign is dead in the water.
    dip a toe in/into something, dip a toe in/into the water (informal)
    jump to other results
    to start doing something very carefully to see if it will be successful or not We decided to dip a toe in the computer games market.
    a fish out of water
    jump to other results
    a person who feels uncomfortable or awkward because he or she is in surroundings that are not familiar
    (come) hell or high water
    jump to other results
    despite any difficulties I was determined to go, come hell or high water.
    in deep water(s) (informal)
    jump to other results
    in trouble or difficulty
    it's (all) water under the bridge
    jump to other results
    used to say that something happened in the past and is now forgotten or no longer important
    keep your head above water
    jump to other results
    to deal with a difficult situation, especially one in which you have financial problems, and just manage to survive I'm not sure how much longer we'll be able to keep our heads above water.
    (take to something) like a duck to water
    jump to other results
    (to become used to something) very easily, without any problems or fears She has taken to teaching like a duck to water.
    like water (informal)
    jump to other results
    in large quantities He spends money like water.
    muddy the waters, issue, etc. (disapproving)
    jump to other results
    to make a simple situation confused and more complicated than it really is She deliberately muddied the waters by constantly referring to other irrelevant cases.
    not hold water (informal)
    jump to other results
    if an argument, an excuse, a theory, etc. does not hold water, you cannot believe it
    pass water (formal)
    jump to other results
    to urinate
    pour/throw cold water on something
    jump to other results
    to give reasons for not being in favor of something; to criticize something She immediately poured cold water on his plans to expand the business.
    still waters run deep (saying)
    jump to other results
    a person who seems to be quiet or shy may surprise you by knowing a lot or having deep feelings
    test the waters
    jump to other results
    to find out what the situation is before doing something or making a decision
      tread water
      jump to other results
    1. 1to keep yourself vertical in deep water by moving your arms and legs
    2. 2to make no progress while you are waiting for something to happen I decided to tread water until a better job came along.
    somebody's water breaks
    jump to other results
    when a pregnant woman's water breaks, the liquid in her womb passes out of her body just before the baby is born
    (like) water off a duck's back (informal)
    jump to other results
    used to say that something, especially criticism, has no effect on someone or something I can't tell my son what to do; it's water off a duck's back with him.
    you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink (saying)
    jump to other results
    you can give someone the opportunity to do something, but you cannot force them to do it if they do not want to
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: water