Meaning of WATER in English

I. wa ‧ ter 1 S1 W1 /ˈwɔːtə $ ˈwɒːtər, ˈwɑː-/ BrE AmE noun [uncountable]

[ Word Family: adjective : ↑ underwater , water, ↑ waterless ; noun : ↑ water , waters; verb : ↑ water ; adverb : ↑ underwater ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: wæter ]

1 . LIQUID the clear liquid without colour, smell, or taste that falls as rain and that is used for drinking, washing etc:

There’s water all over the bathroom floor.

Does anyone want a drink of water?

a glass of sparkling mineral water

All rooms have hot and cold running water.

Pour boiling water over the rice and let it soak.

a fresh water spring

When dealing with a burst pipe, always turn off the water first.

contamination of the local water supply


a) an area of water such as the sea, a lake etc

shallow/deep water

Rangoon is surrounded on three sides by water.

Denzil dived into the water.

He stepped down to the water’s edge.

by water (=by boat)

The temple can only be reached by water.

b) the surface of a lake, river etc ⇨ underwater

on the water

something floating on the water

3 . waters [plural] a large area of water, especially an ocean that is near or belongs to a particular country:

the coastal waters of Alaska

Korean/Mexican/Pacific etc waters

The ship drifted into Turkish territorial waters.

a species found in inland waters (=not the sea, but rivers, lakes etc)

4 . high/low water the highest or lowest level of the sea and some rivers SYN tide

5 . uncharted/troubled/murky waters formal a situation that is difficult, dangerous, or unfamiliar:

the uncharted waters of the 21st century

6 . be (all) water under the bridge informal used to say that what happened in the past should be forgotten

7 . like water if you use something or spend money like water, you use or spend large amounts of it when you should try to save it – used to show disapproval:

Some of the companies were spending money like water.

8 . like water off a duck’s back informal if criticism, warnings etc are like water off a duck’s back, they have no effect on the person you are saying them to

9 . sb’s waters break when a ↑ pregnant woman’s waters break, liquid comes from her body just before her baby is born

10 . water on the brain/knee old-fashioned informal liquid around the brain or knee as the result of a disease

11 . take the waters old-fashioned to wash yourself in or drink special water that is thought to make you healthy

12 . make/pass water formal to ↑ urinate

⇨ ↑ soda water , ↑ toilet water , ⇨ in deep water at ↑ deep 1 (15), ⇨ take to something like a duck to water at ↑ duck 1 (4), ⇨ of the first water at ↑ first 1 (18), ⇨ (be/feel) like a fish out of water at ↑ fish 1 (3), ⇨ not hold water at ↑ hold 1 (37), ⇨ in hot water at ↑ hot 1 (10), ⇨ muddy the waters at ↑ muddy 2 (2), ⇨ pour cold water over/on something at ↑ pour (6), ⇨ still waters run deep at ↑ still 2 (5), ⇨ test the water at ↑ test 2 (7), ⇨ tread water at ↑ tread 1 (5), ⇨ troubled waters at ↑ troubled (3)

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▪ drinking water (=water that you can drink safely)

There is no source of drinking water on the island.

▪ tap water (=water that comes out of a tap)

The tap water is not safe to drink.

▪ bottled water (=water to drink that you buy in bottles)

Sales of bottled water have rocketed.

▪ mineral water (=water that has natural substances in it, and is sold in bottles)

The mineral water comes from the Scottish mountain.

▪ spring water (=water that comes naturally out of the ground and has not been treated with any chemicals, usually sold in bottles)

I ordered a glass of spring water.

▪ running water (=water that comes out of a system of pipes into buildings)

Only half the city’s houses had running water.

▪ fresh water (=water in lakes, rivers etc that does not contain salt)

This bird is usually found in open country near fresh water.

▪ salt water (=water from the sea, or water to which salt has been added)

He washed his hands in a pool of salt water.

▪ hard (=containing a lot of calcium)

Hard water is formed as rainwater passes down through layers of limestone.

▪ soft (=not containing much calcium)

In our area the water is quite soft.

▪ hot

There isn't any hot water!

▪ cold

The water in the pool was pretty cold.

▪ lukewarm (=only slightly warm)

Stir the yeast into lukewarm water.

▪ clean

Millions of people do not have access to clean drinking water.

▪ dirty

Diseases can be spread by dirty water.

▪ contaminated (=water that has harmful substances in it)

They became ill from drinking contaminated water.

▪ soapy

Wash your hands with hot soapy water.

■ water + NOUN

▪ the water supply (=water and the lakes, reservoirs etc where it is stored )

A dam was built to improve the water supply.

▪ a water shortage

There is a severe water shortage in many parts of the country.

■ phrases

▪ a glass of water

She poured herself a glass of water.

▪ a drink of water

He asked for a drink of water.

■ verbs

▪ turn the water off/on (=turn a tap to stop water coming out of pipes or to let it come out)

Turn the water off while you're brushing your teeth.

▪ water runs

I let the cool water run down my back.

▪ water flows

We watched the water flow under the bridge.

II. water 2 BrE AmE verb

[ Word Family: adjective : ↑ underwater , water, ↑ waterless ; noun : ↑ water , waters; verb : ↑ water ; adverb : ↑ underwater ]

1 . PLANT/LAND [transitive] if you water plants or the ground they are growing in, you pour water on them:

Will you water my houseplants while I’m away?

The garden needs watering daily.

2 . your eyes water if your eyes water, ↑ tear s come out of them:

Chopping onions makes my eyes water.

⇨ ↑ mouth-watering , ⇨ make your mouth water at ↑ mouth 1 (11)

3 . ANIMAL [transitive] to give an animal water to drink:

Have the horses been fed and watered?

4 . RIVER [transitive usually passive] technical if an area is watered by a river, the river flows through it and provides it with water:

Colombia is watered by several rivers.

5 . WEAKEN [transitive] ( also water down ) to add water to a drink to make it less strong

water something ↔ down phrasal verb

1 . to make a statement, report etc less forceful by changing it or removing parts that may offend people – used to show disapproval:

The report of the investigation had been watered down.

⇨ ↑ watered-down

2 . to add water to a drink to make it less strong SYN dilute

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.