Word of the Day


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1. the clear liquid that falls as rain and is used for things such as drinking and washing

2. an area of water such as a lake or sea

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

Water is a word of Germanic origin that has been used in English since the times of its earliest form, Old English.


March 22 has been designated World Water Day by UNESCO, to highlight the importance of fresh water and encourage sustainable management of it. Despite the rainy reputation of the British Isles, it has been reported that England could run short of water in 25 years unless measures are taken to cut  both consumption and wastage. The Chief Executive of the Environment Agency has said that climate change and a rising population could combine to create a situation where the supply of water fails to meet demand. The crisis could be averted by a one-third reduction in people’s water usage and a 50% reduction in leaks, one of the main causes of water wastage. New reservoirs will need to be built, and water transfer from the wetter regions of the country to the dry south east facilitated.


“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.”
(Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher)

“Here lies one whose name was writ in water.”
(John Keats)

Related words

lagoon, lake, pond, reservoir

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

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