Definition of water noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈwɔːtə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɔːtər//
    , also NAmE//ˈwɑːtər//
    Travelling by boat or ship
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [uncountable] a liquid without colour, smell or taste that falls as rain, is in lakes, rivers and seas, 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, sea 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 See related entries: Travelling by boat or ship
  3. 3  waters [plural] the water in a particular lake, river, sea or ocean the grey waters of the River Clyde 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 sea or ocean belonging to a particular country We were still in British 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.
  7. There are many other compounds ending in water. You will find them at their place in the alphabet.
    Word OriginOld English wæter (noun), wæterian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch water, German Wasser, from an Indo-European root shared by Russian voda (compare with vodka), also by Latin unda ‘wave’ and Greek hudōr ‘water’.Extra examples Alexis filled the sink with soapy water. All the rooms have hot and cold running water. An abandoned town lies under the water of the reservoir. As the weather heats up, water evaporates. At last the boat reached safer waters. Avoid drinking the tap water when you first arrive in the country. Brown water gushed out of the rusty old tap. Building can be difficult where the water table lies close to the surface. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water. Don’t slosh too much water on the floor when you’re having a bath. Goods were often transported by water in the 19th century. He kept sprinkling holy water on Mia. He twisted it to drain the excess water. How do you pump the water up here? I could feel the icy water entering my lungs. I saw something large floating in the water. Residents are being asked to boil their drinking water. She crouched at the water’s edge to wash her hands. She dried off the excess water from her hair. Some fields have areas with standing water. That causes the moss to absorb water. The boat cut effortlessly through the water. The burst pipe was spurting water everywhere. The farmers draw their irrigation water from the Colorado. The flood water had caused tremendous damage. The ship had drifted into uncharted waters. The submarine had strayed into Russian waters. The surface water made the road treacherous for drivers. The swan landed gracefully on the water. The water is now receding after the floods. The water was rising fast. There was water dripping from a hole in the ceiling. These fish will quickly die in salt water. They climbed a tree to escape the rising water. They turned the water off for a few hours to do some work on the pipes. Water got into the boat and was sloshing around under our feet. a water-resistant watch a woman fetching water areas which are dependent on ground water household water heaters inland navigable waters large expanses of open water the ballast water of ocean-going freighters the calm waters of Lake Como the fast-flowing water of the river the freezing waters of the Irish Sea the icy waters of the North Atlantic the purest well water the region’s most important fresh water source the shark-infested waters off the coast of Florida water-repellent leather Leaves floated on the water. We walked down to the water’s edge.Idioms
    be in/get into hot water
    jump to other results
    (informal) to be in or get into trouble
    blood is thicker than water
    jump to other results
    (saying) family relationships are stronger than any others
      blow somebody/something out of the water (informal)
      jump to other results
    1. 1to destroy somebody/something completely
    2. 2to show that somebody/something is not good by being very much better than it/them I like my old phone, but this new model blows it out of the water.
    (formal) using a boat or ship They reached Naples by water.
    clear blue water (between A and B)
    jump to other results
    a complete difference or separation Voters want to see clear blue water between the main parties. They failed to put clear blue water between themselves and their competitors.
    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
    jump to other results
    (informal) 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 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.
    (informal) 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.
    (informal) in large quantities He spends money like water. (informal) if an argument, an excuse, a theory, etc. does not hold water, you cannot believe it (formal) to urinate
    pour/throw cold water on something
    jump to other results
    to give reasons for not being in favour of something; to criticize something She immediately poured cold water on his plans to expand the business.
    pour oil on troubled water(s)
    jump to other results
    to try to settle a disagreement or argument
    (saying) a person who seems to be quiet or shy may surprise you by knowing a lot or having deep feelings to find out what the situation is before doing something or making a decision
    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.
    (like) water off a duck’s back
    jump to other results
    (informal) used to say that something, especially criticism, has no effect on somebody/something I can't tell my son what to do; it's water off a duck's back with him.
    somebody’s waters break
    jump to other results
    when a pregnant woman’s waters break, the liquid in her womb passes out of her body just before the baby is born See related entries: Birth
    you can lead/take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink
    jump to other results
    (saying) you can give somebody the opportunity to do something, but you cannot force them to do it if they do not want to
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: water