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[waw-ter-mahrk, wot-er-] /ˈwɔ tərˌmɑrk, ˈwɒt ər-/
a mark indicating the height to which water rises or has risen, as in a river or inlet.
water line (def 5).
a figure or design impressed in some paper during manufacture, visible when the paper is held to the light.
verb (used with object)
to mark (paper) with a watermark.
to impress (a design, pattern, etc.), as a watermark.
Origin of watermark
1625-35; water + mark1
Related forms
unwatermarked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for watermark
  • He stopped when he could no longer see his feet, and when he came back out, somebody measured the watermark on his clothing.
  • It contains a subtle watermark that search committees are trained to recognize.
  • See watermark's and now ptarmigan's posts, since mine seems to be problematic for you.
  • Tracking how long a signature lasts, and how intense a cultural watermark is, presents a serious critical challenge.
  • And to create a watermark that distinguishes the synthetic genome from the natural one, they also made additions.
  • If the photo is changed at all, the digital watermark is corrupted.
  • The watermark is part of the pap er itself and can be seen from both sides.
  • watermark is launching a wire-free, in home sleep device that primary care physicians can use to diagnose sleep apnea.
  • Travelers checks may have a watermark visible when it is held up to the light.
  • Banknotes also incorporate security elements, including a watermark and hologram.
British Dictionary definitions for watermark


a distinguishing mark impressed on paper during manufacture, visible when the paper is held up to the light
another word for water line (sense 1), water line (sense 2)
verb (transitive)
to mark (paper) with a watermark
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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Word Origin and History for watermark

1708, "distinctive mark on paper," from water (n.1) + mark (n.1). Cf. German wassermarke. Not produced by water, but probably so called because it looks like a wet spot. The verb is recorded from 1866.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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