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1. To wet or supply with water; to moisten; to overflow with water; to irrigate; as, to water land; to water flowers. "With tears watering the ground." (Milton) "Men whose lives gilded on like rivers that water the woodlands." (Longfellow)
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.
Origin: AS. Waeterian, gewaeterian.
Pure water consists of hydrogen and oxygen, H2O, and is a colourless, odorless, tasteless, transparent liquid, which is very slightly compressible. at its maximum density, 39 deg Fahr. Or 4 deg C, it is the standard for specific gravities, one cubic centimetre weighing one gram. It freezes at 32 deg Fahr. Or 0 deg C. And boils at 212 deg Fahr. Or 100 deg 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." (Fuller)
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.
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 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 flavour or temperature. Soft water, water not impregnated with lime or mineral salts. To hold water. See Hold, To keep one's head above water, to keep afloat; fig, to avoid failure or sinking in the struggles of life. To make water. To pass urine.
Origin: AS. Waeter; akin to OS. Watar, OFries. Wetir, weter, LG. & D. Water, G. Wasser, OHG. Wazzar, Icel. Vatn, Sw. Vatten, Dan. Vand, Goth. Wat, O. Slav. & Russ. Voda, Gr, Skr. Udan water, ud to wet, and perhaps to L. Unda wave. Cf. Dropsy, Hydra, Otter, Wet, Whisky.
(01 Mar 1998)
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