Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Water-ret transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Water-retted ; present participle & verbal noun Water-retting .] To ret, or rot, in water, as flax; to water- rot.

Water-rot transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Water-rotted ; present participle & verbal noun Water-rotting .] To rot by steeping in water; to water-ret; as, to water-rot hemp or flax.

Water-soak transitive verb To soak water; to fill the interstices of with water.

Water-standing adjective Tear- filled. [ R.] "Many an orphan's water-standing eye." Shak.

Water-tight adjective So tight as to retain, or not to admit, water; not leaky.

Water-withe noun (Botany) A vinelike plant ( Vitis Caribæa ) growing in parched districts in the West Indies, and containing a great amount of sap which is sometimes used for quenching thirst.

Watermelon noun (Botany) The very large ovoid or roundish fruit of a cucurbitaceous plant ( Citrullus vulgaris ) of many varieties; also, the plant itself. The fruit sometimes weighs many pounds; its pulp is usually pink in color, and full of a sweet watery juice. It is a native of tropical Africa, but is now cultivated in many countries. See Illust. of Melon .

Waterpot noun A vessel for holding or conveying water, or for sprinkling water on cloth, plants, etc.

Waterproof adjective Proof against penetration or permeation by water; impervious to water; as, a waterproof garment; a waterproof roof.

Waterproof noun
1. A substance or preparation for rendering cloth, leather, etc., impervious to water.

2. Cloth made waterproof, or any article made of such cloth, or of other waterproof material, as rubber; esp., an outer garment made of such material.

Waterproof transitive verb To render impervious to water, as cloth, leather, etc.

Waterproofing noun
1. The act or process of making waterproof.

2. Same as Waterproof , noun , 1.

Waterscape noun [ Confer Landscape .] A sea view; -- distinguished from landscape . [ Jocose] Fairholt.

Watershed noun [ Confer German wasserscheide ; wasser water + scheide a place where two things separate, from scheiden to separate.]


1. The whole region or extent of country which contributes to the supply of a river or lake.

2. The line of division between two adjacent rivers or lakes with respect to the flow of water by natural channels into them; the natural boundary of a basin.

Watershoot noun
1. A sprig or shoot from the root or stock of a tree. [ Obsolete]

2. (Architecture) That which serves to guard from falling water; a drip or dripstone.

3. A trough for discharging water.

Waterspout noun A remarkable meteorological phenomenon, of the nature of a tornado or whirlwind, usually observed over the sea, but sometimes over the land.

» Tall columns, apparently of cloud, and reaching from the sea to the clouds, are seen moving along, often several at once, sometimes straight and vertical, at other times inclined and tortuous, but always in rapid rotation. At their bases, the sea is violently agitated and heaped up with a leaping or boiling motion, water, at least in some cases, being actually carried up in considerable quantity, and scattered round from a great height, as solid bodies are by tornadoes on land. Sir J. Herschel.

Watertath noun [ Water + tath , noun ] A kind of coarse grass growing in wet grounds, and supposed to be injurious to sheep. [ Prov. Eng.]

Waterway noun (Nautical) Heavy plank or timber extending fore and aft the whole length of a vessel's deck at the line of junction with the sides, forming a channel to the scuppers, which are cut through it. In iron vessels the waterway is variously constructed.

Waterweed noun (Botany) See Anacharis .

Waterwork noun
1. (Paint.) Painting executed in size or distemper, on canvas or walls, -- formerly, frequently taking the place of tapestry. Shak. Fairholt.

2. An hydraulic apparatus, or a system of works or fixtures, by which a supply of water is furnished for useful or ornamental purposes, including dams, sluices, pumps, aqueducts, distributing pipes, fountains, etc.; -- used chiefly in the plural.

Waterworn adjective Worn, smoothed, or polished by the action of water; as, waterworn stones.

Waterwort noun (Botany) Any plant of the natural order Elatineæ , consisting of two genera ( Elatine , and Bergia ), mostly small annual herbs growing in the edges of ponds. Some have a peppery or acrid taste.

Watery adjective [ Anglo-Saxon wæterig .]


1. Of or pertaining to water; consisting of water. "The watery god." Dryden. "Fish within their watery residence." Milton.

2. Abounding with water; wet; hence, tearful.

3. Resembling water; thin or transparent, as a liquid; as, watery humors.

The oily and watery parts of the aliment.
Arbuthnot.

4. Hence, abounding in thin, tasteless, or insipid fluid; tasteless; insipid; vapid; spiritless.

Watt noun [ From the distinguished mechanician and scientist, James Watt .] (Physics) A unit of power or activity equal to 10 7 C.G.S. units of power, or to work done at the rate of one joule a second. An English horse power is approximately equal to 746 watts.

Watteau adjective (Art) Having the appearance of that which is seen in pictures by Antoine Watteau , a French painter of the eighteenth century; -- said esp. of women's garments; as, a Watteau bodice.

Watteau back The back of a woman's gown in which one or more very broad folds are carried from the neck to the floor without being held in at the waist, while the front and sides of the gown are shaped to the person and have a belt or its equivalent.

Wattle noun [ Anglo-Saxon watel , watul , watol , hurdle, covering, wattle; confer Middle English watel a bag. Confer Wallet .]


1. A twig or flexible rod; hence, a hurdle made of such rods.

And there he built with wattles from the marsh
A little lonely church in days of yore.
Tennyson.

2. A rod laid on a roof to support the thatch.

3. (Zoology) (a) A naked fleshy, and usually wrinkled and highly colored, process of the skin hanging from the chin or throat of a bird or reptile. (b) Barbel of a fish.

4. (a) The astringent bark of several Australian trees of the genus Acacia , used in tanning; -- called also wattle bark . (b) (Botany) The trees from which the bark is obtained. See Savanna wattle , under Savanna .

Wattle turkey . (Zoology) Same as Brush turkey .

Wattle transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Wattled ; present participle & verbal noun Wattling .]


1. To bind with twigs.

2. To twist or interweave, one with another, as twigs; to form a network with; to plat; as, to wattle branches.

3. To form, by interweaving or platting twigs.

The folded flocks, penned in their wattled cotes.
Milton.

Wattle noun
1. Material consisting of wattled twigs, withes, etc., used for walls, fences, and the like. "The pailsade of wattle ." Frances Macnab.

2. (Botany) In Australasia, any tree of the genus Acacia ; -- so called from the wattles , or hurdles, which the early settlers made of the long, pliable branches or of the split stems of the slender species.

Wattlebird noun
1. (Zoology) Any one of several species of honey eaters belonging to Anthochæra and allied genera of the family Meliphagidæ . These birds usually have a large and conspicuous wattle of naked skin hanging down below each ear. They are natives of Australia and adjacent islands.

» The best-known species ( Anthochæra carunculata ) has the upper parts grayish brown, with a white stripe on each feather, and the wing and tail quills dark brown or blackish, tipped with withe. Its wattles, in life, are light blood-red. Called also wattled crow , wattled bee-eater , wattled honey eater . Another species ( A. inauris ) is streaked with black, gray, and white, and its long wattles are white, tipped with orange. The bush wattlebirds, belonging to the genus Anellobia , are closely related, but lack conspicuous wattles. The most common species ( A. mellivora ) is dark brown, finely streaked with white. Called also goruck creeper .

2. (Zoology) The Australian brush turkey.

Wattled adjective Furnished with wattles, or pendent fleshy processes at the chin or throat.

The wattled cocks strut to and fro.
Longfellow.

Wattless adjective (Electricity) Without any power (cf. Watt ); -- said of an alternating current or component of current when it differs in phase by ninety degrees from the electromotive force which produces it, or of an electromotive force or component thereof when the current it produces differs from it in phase by 90 degrees.

Wattling noun The act or process of binding or platting with twigs; also, the network so formed.

Made with a wattling of canes or sticks.
Dampier.

Wattmeter noun [ Watt + meter .] (Physics) An instrument for measuring power in watts, -- much used in measuring the energy of an electric current.

Waucht, Waught noun [ Confer Quaff .] A large draught of any liquid. [ Scot.] Jamieson.

Waul intransitive verb [ Of imitative origin.] To cry as a cat; to squall; to wail. [ Written also wawl .]

The helpless infant, coming wauling and crying into the world.
Sir W. Scott.

Waur adjective [ See Worse .] Worse. [ Scot.]

Murder and waur than murder.
Sir W. Scott.

Wave (wāv) transitive verb See Waive . Sir H. Wotton. Burke.

Wave intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Waved (wāvd); present participle & verbal noun Waving .] [ Middle English waven , Anglo-Saxon wafian to waver, to hesitate, to wonder; akin to wæfre wavering, restless, Middle High German wabern to be in motion, Icelandic vafra to hover about; confer Icelandic vāfa to vibrate. Confer Waft , Waver .]


1. To play loosely; to move like a wave, one way and the other; to float; to flutter; to undulate.

His purple robes waved careless to the winds.
Trumbull.

Where the flags of three nations has successively waved .
Hawthorne.

2. To be moved to and fro as a signal. B. Jonson.

3. To fluctuate; to waver; to be in an unsettled state; to vacillate. [ Obsolete]

He waved indifferently 'twixt doing them neither good nor harm.
Shak.

Wave transitive verb
1. To move one way and the other; to brandish. "[ Æneas] waved his fatal sword." Dryden.

2. To raise into inequalities of surface; to give an undulating form a surface to.

Horns whelked and waved like the enridged sea.
Shak.

3. To move like a wave, or by floating; to waft. [ Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

4. To call attention to, or give a direction or command to, by a waving motion, as of the hand; to signify by waving; to beckon; to signal; to indicate.

Look, with what courteous action
It waves you to a more removed ground.
Shak.

She spoke, and bowing waved
Dismissal.
Tennyson.

Wave noun [ From Wave , v. ; not the same word as Middle English wawe , waghe , a wave, which is akin to English wag to move. √136. See Wave , intransitive verb ]


1. An advancing ridge or swell on the surface of a liquid, as of the sea, resulting from the oscillatory motion of the particles composing it when disturbed by any force their position of rest; an undulation.

The wave behind impels the wave before.
Pope.

2. (Physics) A vibration propagated from particle to particle through a body or elastic medium, as in the transmission of sound; an assemblage of vibrating molecules in all phases of a vibration, with no phase repeated; a wave of vibration; an undulation. See Undulation .

3. Water; a body of water. [ Poetic] "Deep drank Lord Marmion of the wave ." Sir W. Scott.

Build a ship to save thee from the flood,
I 'll furnish thee with fresh wave , bread, and wine.
Chapman.

4. Unevenness; inequality of surface. Sir I. Newton.

5. A waving or undulating motion; a signal made with the hand, a flag, etc.

6. The undulating line or streak of luster on cloth watered, or calendered, or on damask steel.

7. Fig.: A swelling or excitement of thought, feeling, or energy; a tide; as, waves of enthusiasm.

Wave front (Physics) , the surface of initial displacement of the particles in a medium, as a wave of vibration advances. -- Wave length (Physics) , the space, reckoned in the direction of propagation, occupied by a complete wave or undulation, as of light, sound, etc.; the distance from a point or phase in a wave to the nearest point at which the same phase occurs. - - Wave line (Shipbuilding) , a line of a vessel's hull, shaped in accordance with the wave-line system. -- Wave-line system , Wave-line theory (Shipbuilding) , a system or theory of designing the lines of a vessel, which takes into consideration the length and shape of a wave which travels at a certain speed. -- Wave loaf , a loaf for a wave offering. Lev. viii. 27. -- Wave moth (Zoology) , any one of numerous species of small geometrid moths belonging to Acidalia and allied genera; -- so called from the wavelike color markings on the wings. -- Wave offering , an offering made in the Jewish services by waving the object, as a loaf of bread, toward the four cardinal points. Num. xviii. 11. -- Wave of vibration (Physics) , a wave which consists in, or is occasioned by, the production and transmission of a vibratory state from particle to particle through a body. -- Wave surface . (a) (Physics) A surface of simultaneous and equal displacement of the particles composing a wave of vibration. (b) (Geom.) A mathematical surface of the fourth order which, upon certain hypotheses, is the locus of a wave surface of light in the interior of crystals. It is used in explaining the phenomena of double refraction. See under Refraction . -- Wave theory . (Physics) See Undulatory theory , under Undulatory .

Wave noun Something resembling or likened to a water wave, as in rising unusually high, in being of unusual extent, or in progressive motion; a swelling or excitement, as of feeling or energy; a tide; flood; period of intensity, usual activity, or the like; as, a wave of enthusiasm.

Waved adjective
1. Exhibiting a wavelike form or outline; undulating; intended; wavy; as, waved edge.

2. Having a wavelike appearance; marked with wavelike lines of color; as, waved , or watered, silk.

3. (Her.) Having undulations like waves; -- said of one of the lines in heraldry which serve as outlines to the ordinaries, etc.

Waveless adjective Free from waves; undisturbed; not agitated; as, the waveless sea.

Wavelet noun A little wave; a ripple.

Wavellite noun [ After Dr. Wm. Wavel , the discoverer.] (Min.) A hydrous phosphate of alumina, occurring usually in hemispherical radiated forms varying in color from white to yellow, green, or black.

Waver intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Wavered ; present participle & verbal noun Wavering .] [ Middle English waveren , from Anglo-Saxon wæfre wavering, restless. See Wave , intransitive verb ]


1. To play or move to and fro; to move one way and the other; hence, to totter; to reel; to swing; to flutter.

With banners and pennons wavering with the wind.
Ld. Berners.

Thou wouldst waver on one of these trees as a terror to all evil speakers against dignities.
Sir W. Scott.

2. To be unsettled in opinion; to vacillate; to be undetermined; to fluctuate; as, to water in judgment.

Let us hold fast . . . without wavering .
Hebrew x. 23.

In feeble hearts, propense enough before
To waver , or fall off and join with idols .
Milton.

Syn. -- To reel; totter; vacillate. See Fluctuate .

Waver noun [ From Wave , or Waver , v. ] A sapling left standing in a fallen wood. [ Prov. Eng.] Halliwell.

Waverer noun One who wavers; one who is unsettled in doctrine, faith, opinion, or the like. Shak.

Waveringly adverb In a wavering manner.