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[waw-ter-wurks, wot-er-] /ˈwɔ tərˌwɜrks, ˈwɒt ər-/
noun, plural waterworks.
(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.
Slang. the kidneys.
Origin of waterworks
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; see water, works Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for waterworks


(functioning as sing) an establishment for storing, purifying, and distributing water for community supply
(functioning as pl) a display of water in movement, as in fountains
(functioning as pl) (Brit, informal, euphemistic) the urinary system, esp with reference to its normal functioning: he has trouble with his waterworks
(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 waterworks

watering hole

n phr,n

A bar; a saloon; a drinking place: That place is the waterhole of choice for aspiring actors/ a posh watering hole on Madison Avenue/ gathering for the school's alums and their friends at selected watering spots (1960s+)

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 waterworks


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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