Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Watchman noun ; plural Watchmen


1. One set to watch; a person who keeps guard; a guard; a sentinel.

2. Specifically, one who guards a building, or the streets of a city, by night.

Watchman beetle (Zoology) , the European dor. -- Watchman's clock , a watchman's detector in which the apparatus for recording the times of visiting several stations is contained within a single clock. -- Watchman's detector , or Watchman's time detector , an apparatus for recording the time when a watchman visits a station on his rounds. -- Watchman's rattle , an instrument having at the end of a handle a revolving arm, which, by the action of a strong spring upon cogs, produces, when in motion, a loud, harsh, rattling sound.

Watchtower noun A tower in which a sentinel is placed to watch for enemies, the approach of danger, or the like.

Watchword noun
1. A word given to sentinels, and to such as have occasion to visit the guards, used as a signal by which a friend is known from an enemy, or a person who has a right to pass the watch from one who has not; a countersign; a password.

2. A sentiment or motto; esp., one used as a rallying cry or a signal for action.

Nor deal in watchwords overmuch.
Tennyson.

Water (wa"tẽr) noun [ Anglo-Saxon wæter ; akin to Old Saxon watar , OFries. wetir , weter , LG. & Dutch water , German wasser , Old High German wazzar , Icelandic vatn , Swedish vatten , Danish vand , Goth. watō , O. Slav. & Russian voda , Greek 'y`dwr , Sanskrit udan water, ud to wet, and perhaps to Latin unda wave. √137. Confer 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, H 2 O, 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.
Fuller.

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. Pharm.

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 , transitive verb , 3, Damask , transitive verb , and Damaskeen .

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; water fowl, 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 &frac1x12; 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 , transitive verb -- 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) (Nautical) To admit water; to leak. -- Water of crystallization (Chemistry) , 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, CuSO 4 , is a white amorphous substance, blue vitriol, the crystallized form, CuSO 4 . 5 H 2 O, contains five molecules of water of crystallization. -- Water on the brain (Medicine) , hydrocephalus. -- Water on the chest (Medicine) , hydrothorax.

» Other phrases, in which water occurs as the first element, will be found in alphabetical order in the Vocabulary.

Water transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Watered ; present participle & verbal noun Watering .] [ Anglo-Saxon wæterian , ge wæterian .]


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.

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. Confer Water , noun , 6.

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. Confer Water , noun , 7. [ Brokers' Cant]

Water intransitive verb
1. To shed, secrete, or fill with, water or liquid matter; as, his eyes began to water .

If thine eyes can water for his death.
Shak.

2. To get or take in water; as, the ship put into port to water .

The mouth waters , a phrase denoting that a person or animal has a longing desire for something, since the sight of food often causes one who is hungry to have an increased flow of saliva.

Water adder (Zoology) (a) The water moccasin. (b) The common, harmless American water snake ( Tropidonotus sipedon ). See Illust. under Water Snake .

Water agrimony (Botany) A kind of bur marigold ( Bidens tripartita ) found in wet places in Europe.

Water aloe (Botany) See Water soldier .

Water antelope See Water buck .

Water arum (Botany) An aroid herb ( Calla palustris ) having a white spathe. It is an inhabitant of the north temperate zone.

Water back See under 1st Back .

Water bailiff An officer of the customs, whose duty it is to search vessels. [ Eng.]

Water ballast (Nautical) Water confined in specially constructed compartments in a vessel's hold, to serve as ballast.

Water barometer (Physics) A barometer in which the changes of atmospheric pressure are indicated by the motion of a column of water instead of mercury. It requires a column of water about thirty-three feet in height.

Water bath A device for regulating the temperature of anything subjected to heat, by surrounding the vessel containing it with another vessel containing water which can be kept at a desired temperature; also, a vessel designed for this purpose.

Water battery
1. (Electricity) A voltaic battery in which the exciting fluid is water.

2. (Mil.) A battery nearly on a level with the water.

Water bear (Zoology) Any species of Tardigrada, 2. See Illust. of Tardigrada .

Water bed A kind of mattress made of, or covered with, waterproof fabric and filled with water. It is used in hospitals for bedridden patients.

Water beech (Botany) The American hornbeam. See Hornbeam .

Water beetle (Zoology) Any one of numerous species of aquatic beetles belonging to Dytiscus and allied genera of the family Dytiscidæ , and to various genera of the family Hydrophilidæ . These beetles swim with great agility, the fringed hind legs acting together like oars.

Water bellows Same as Tromp .

Water bird (Zoology) Any aquatic bird; a water fowl.

Water blackbird (Zoology) The European water ousel, or dipper.

Water boatman (Zoology) A boat bug.

Water brain A disease of sheep; gid.

Water brash (Medicine) See under Brash .

Water breather (Zoology) Any arthropod that breathes by means of gills.

Water bridge (Steam Boilers) See Water table .

Water buck (Zoology) A large, heavy antelope ( Kobus ellipsiprymnus ) native of Central Africa. It frequents the banks of rivers and is a good swimmer. It has a white ring around the rump. Called also photomok , water antelope , and waterbok .

» The name is also applied to other related species, as the leche ( Kobus leche ), which has similar habits.

Water buffalo (Zoology) The European buffalo.

Water bug (Zoology) (a) The Croton bug. (b) Any one of numerous species of large, rapacious, aquatic, hemipterous insects belonging to Belostoma , Benacus , Zaitha , and other genera of the family Belostomatidæ . Their hind legs are long and fringed, and act like oars. Some of these insects are of great size, being among the largest existing Hemiptera. Many of them come out of the water and fly about at night.

Water butt A large, open-headed cask, set up on end, to contain water. Dickens.

Water caltrop (Botany) The water chestnut.

Water can (Botany) Any one of several species of Nuphar; the yellow frog lily; -- so called from the shape of the seed vessel. See Nuphar , and confer Candock . Dr. Prior.

Water canker (Medicine) See Canker , noun , 1.

Water carriage
1. Transportation or conveyance by water; means of transporting by water.

2. A vessel or boat. [ Obsolete] Arbuthnot.

Water cart A cart carrying water; esp., one carrying water for sale, or for sprinkling streets, gardens, etc.

Water cavy (Zoology) The capybara.

Water celery (Botany) A very acrid herb ( Ranunculus sceleratus ) growing in ditches and wet places; -- called also cursed crowfoot .

Water cell A cell containing water; specifically (Zoology) , one of the cells or chambers in which water is stored up in the stomach of a camel.

Water cement Hydraulic cement.

Water chestnut (Botany) The fruit of Trapa natans and Trapa bicornis , Old World water plants bearing edible nutlike fruits armed with several hard and sharp points; also, the plant itself; -- called also water caltrop .

Water chevrotain (Zoology) A large West African chevrotain ( Hyæmoschus aquaticus ). It has a larger body and shorter legs than the other allied species. Called also water deerlet .

Water chicken (Zoology) The common American gallinule.

Water chickweed (Botany) A small annual plant ( Montia fontana ) growing in wet places in southern regions.

Water chinquapin (Botany) The American lotus, and its edible seeds, which somewhat resemble chinquapins. Confer Yoncopin .

Water clock An instrument or machine serving to measure time by the fall, or flow, of a certain quantity of water; a clepsydra.

Water cock (Zoology) A large gallinule ( Gallicrex cristatus ) native of Australia, India, and the East Indies. In the breeding season the male is black and has a fleshy red caruncle, or horn, on the top of its head. Called also kora .

Water color (Paint.)
1. A color ground with water and gum or other glutinous medium; a color the vehicle of which is water; -- so called in distinction from oil color .

» It preserves its consistency when dried in a solid cake, which is used by rubbing off a portion on a moistened palette. Moist water colors are water colors kept in a semifluid or pasty state in little metal tubes or pans.

2. A picture painted with such colors.