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waterworks

[waw-ter-wurks, wot-er-] /ˈwɔ tərˌwɜrks, ˈwɒt ər-/
noun, plural waterworks.
1.
(used with a singular or plural verb) a complete system of reservoirs, pipelines, conduits, etc., by which water is collected, purified, stored, and pumped to urban users.
2.
(used with a singular verb) a pumping station or a purifying station of such a system.
3.
(usually used with a plural verb). Sometimes, waterwork. a spectacular display of water, mechanically produced, as for a pageant.
4.
(used with a singular or plural verb) Slang. tears, or the source of tears:
to turn on the waterworks.
5.
Slang. the kidneys.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English; see water, works
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for water work

waterworks

/ˈwɔːtəˌwɜːks/
noun
1.
(functioning as sing) an establishment for storing, purifying, and distributing water for community supply
2.
(functioning as pl) a display of water in movement, as in fountains
3.
(functioning as pl) (Brit, informal, euphemistic) the urinary system, esp with reference to its normal functioning he has trouble with his waterworks
4.
(functioning as pl) (informal) crying; tears
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for water work

waterworks

Related Terms

turn on the waterworks


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with water work
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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8
8
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