Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

water - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun water pronunciation in American English /ˈwɔtər/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [uncountable] the clear liquid that falls as rain and is used for things such as drinking and washing
    Soldiers were able to get food and water across the border.
    Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
    Just add water to the cake mix.
    a glass of water
    sparkling/carbonated water (=water for drinking that has gas added to it)
  2. 2
    [uncountable] an area of water such as a lake or ocean
    From the hotel there’s a beautiful view of the water.
    San Francisco is right on the water.
    by water (=by boat): Island residents have their mail delivered by water.
    1. a.
      [countable/uncountable] the surface of a lake or the ocean
      The water was calm and still.
      swimming under the water
    2. b.


      [plural] an area of water that belongs to a particular place, state, country, etc.
      The boat sailed into international waters.
      Cuban waters
      the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea
  3. 3


    [plural] used for talking about a particular type of situation
    young couples thrown headfirst into the unknown waters of parenthood
    stormy/turbulent etc. waters (=a difficult situation): There seemed to be stormy waters ahead for the administration.
    murky waters (=a mysterious or frightening situation): Someone mentions drugs and the waters turn very murky.



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog