General English

  • noun the liquid which falls as rain and forms rivers, lakes and seas. It makes up a large part of the bodies of living creatures, and is used for drinking and in cooking; also in industrial processes.
  • verb to pour water on the soil round a plant to make it grow


  • noun a liquid which forms rain, rivers, lakes and the sea and which makes up a large part of the bodies of organisms.
  • verb to give water to a plant


  • noun the liquid that is essential to life and makes up a large part of the body


  • noun urine
  • plural noun the fluid in the amnion in which a fetus floats
  • verb to fill with tears or saliva

Origin & History of “water”

Water is an ancient and widespread word, which goes back ultimately to prehistoric Indo-European *wodōr. Its relatives include Greek húdōr ‘water’ (source of the English prefix hydro-), Latin unda ‘wave’ (source of English redundant, surround, undulate, etc), Russian voda ‘water’ (source of English vodka), Gaelic uisge ‘water’ (source of English whisky), Lithuanian vanduō ‘water’, Latvian ūdens ‘water’, Sanskrit udán ‘water’, and Hittite watar ‘water’. In the Germanic languages it has become German wasser (source of English vaseline), Dutch and English water, Swedish vatten, and Danish vand. Otter comes from a variant of the same Indo-European base, as may winter, and wet is closely related.