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.
(used with a singular verb) a pumping station or a purifying station of such a system.
(usually used with a plural verb) . Sometimes, waterwork. a spectacular display of water, mechanically produced, as for a pageant.
(used with a singular or plural verb) Slang. tears, or the source of tears: to turn on the waterworks.
Origin: 1400–50; late Middle English;