Wa"ter (wô"tẽr), n. [AS.
wæter; akin to OS. watar, OFries. wetir,
weter, LG. & D. water, G. wasser, OHG. wazzar,
Icel. vatn, Sw. vatten, Dan. vand, Goth.
watō, O. Slav. & Russ. voda, Gr. 'y`dwr,
Skr. udan water, ud to wet, and perhaps to L. unda
wave. √137. Cf. Dropsy, Hydra, Otter,
Wet, Whisky.] 1. The fluid which
descends from the clouds in rain, and which forms rivers, lakes, seas,
etc. "We will drink water." Shak. "Powers of fire,
air, water, and earth." Milton.
☞ Pure water consists of hydrogen and oxygen, H2O, and
is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, transparent liquid, which is very
slightly compressible. At its maximum density, 39° Fahr. or 4° C.,
it is the standard for specific gravities, one cubic centimeter weighing
one gram. It freezes at 32° Fahr. or 0° C. and boils at 212°
Fahr. or 100° C. (see Ice, Steam). It is the most
important natural solvent, and is frequently impregnated with foreign
matter which is mostly removed by distillation; hence, rain water is nearly
pure. It is an important ingredient in the tissue of animals and plants,
the human body containing about two thirds its weight of water.
2. A body of water, standing or flowing; a lake,
river, or other collection of water.
Remembering he had passed over a small water a poor
scholar when first coming to the university, he kneeled.
3. Any liquid secretion, humor, or the like,
resembling water; esp., the urine.
4. (Pharm.) A solution in water of a gaseous
or readily volatile substance; as, ammonia water. U. S.
5. The limpidity and luster of a precious stone,
especially a diamond; as, a diamond of the first water, that is,
perfectly pure and transparent. Hence, of the first water, that is,
of the first excellence.
6. A wavy, lustrous pattern or decoration such as
is imparted to linen, silk, metals, etc. See Water, v.
t., 3, Damask, v. t., and
7. An addition to the shares representing the
capital of a stock company so that the aggregate par value of the shares is
increased while their value for investment is diminished, or
"diluted." [Brokers' Cant]
☞ Water is often used adjectively and in the formation of
many self-explaining compounds; as, water drainage; water
gauge, or water-gauge; waterfowl, water-fowl, or
water fowl; water-beaten; water-borne, water-
circled, water-girdled, water-rocked, etc.
Hard water. See under Hard. --
Inch of water, a unit of measure of quantity of
water, being the quantity which will flow through an orifice one inch
square, or a circular orifice one inch in diameter, in a vertical surface,
under a stated constant head; also called miner's inch, and water
inch. The shape of the orifice and the head vary in different
localities. In the Western United States, for hydraulic mining, the
standard aperture is square and the head from 4 to 9 inches above its
center. In Europe, for experimental hydraulics, the orifice is usually
round and the head from 1⁄12 of an inch to 1 inch above its top.
-- Mineral water, waters which are so impregnated
with foreign ingredients, such as gaseous, sulphureous, and saline
substances, as to give them medicinal properties, or a particular flavor or
temperature. -- Soft water, water not
impregnated with lime or mineral salts. -- To hold
water. See under Hold, v. t. --
To keep one's head above water, to keep afloat; fig.,
to avoid failure or sinking in the struggles of life. [Colloq.] --
To make water. (a) To pass
urine. Swift. (b) (Naut.) To admit
water; to leak. -- Water of crystallization
(Chem.), the water combined with many salts in their crystalline
form. This water is loosely, but, nevertheless, chemically, combined, for
it is held in fixed and definite amount for each substance containing it.
Thus, while pure copper sulphate, CuSO4, is a white amorphous
substance, blue vitriol, the crystallized form,
CuSO4.5H2O, contains five molecules of
water of crystallization. -- Water on the brain
(Med.), hydrocephalus. -- Water on the
chest (Med.), hydrothorax.
☞ Other phrases, in which water occurs as the first element,
will be found in alphabetical order in the Vocabulary.
Wa"ter (?), v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Watered (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Watering.] [AS. wæterian, gewæterian.]
1. To wet or supply with water; to moisten; to
overflow with water; to irrigate; as, to water land; to water
With tears watering the ground.
Men whose lives gilded on like rivers that water the
2. To supply with water for drink; to cause or
allow to drink; as, to water cattle and horses.
3. To wet and calender, as cloth, so as to impart
to it a lustrous appearance in wavy lines; to diversify with wavelike
lines; as, to water silk. Cf. Water, n.,
4. To add water to (anything), thereby extending
the quantity or bulk while reducing the strength or quality; to extend; to
dilute; to weaken.
To water stock, to increase the capital stock of a
company by issuing new stock, thus diminishing the value of the individual
shares. Cf. Water, n., 7. [Brokers'