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1 definition found
for To keep one''s head above water
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Water \Wa"ter\ (w[add]"t[~e]r), n. [AS. w[ae]ter; akin to OS.
watar, OFries. wetir, weter, LG. & D. water, G. wasser, OHG.
wazzar, Icel. vatn, Sw. vatten, Dan. vand, Goth. wat[=o], O.
Slav. & Russ. voda, Gr. 'y`dwr, Skr. udan water, ud to wet,
and perhaps to L. unda wave. [root]137. Cf. Dropsy,
Hydra, Otter, Wet, Whisky.]
1. The fluid which descends from the clouds in rain, and
which forms rivers, lakes, seas, etc. "We will drink
water." --Shak. "Powers of fire, air, water, and earth."
Note: Pure water consists of hydrogen and oxygen, H2O, and
is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, transparent
liquid, which is very slightly compressible. At its
maximum density, 39[deg] Fahr. or 4[deg] C., it is the
standard for specific gravities, one cubic centimeter
weighing one gram. It freezes at 32[deg] Fahr. or
0[deg] C. and boils at 212[deg] Fahr. or 100[deg] C.
(see Ice, Steam). It is the most important natural
solvent, and is frequently impregnated with foreign
matter which is mostly removed by distillation; hence,
rain water is nearly pure. It is an important
ingredient in the tissue of animals and plants, the
human body containing about two thirds its weight of
2. A body of water, standing or flowing; a lake, river, or
other collection of water.
Remembering he had passed over a small water a poor
scholar when first coming to the university, he
3. Any liquid secretion, humor, or the like, resembling
water; esp., the urine.
4. (Pharm.) A solution in water of a gaseous or readily
volatile substance; as, ammonia water. --U. S. Pharm.
5. The limpidity and luster of a precious stone, especially a
diamond; as, a diamond of the first water, that is,
perfectly pure and transparent. Hence, of the first water,
that is, of the first excellence.
6. A wavy, lustrous pattern or decoration such as is imparted
to linen, silk, metals, etc. See Water, v. t., 3,
Damask, v. t., and Damaskeen.
7. An addition to the shares representing the capital of a
stock company so that the aggregate par value of the
shares is increased while their value for investment is
diminished, or "diluted." [Brokers' Cant]
Note: Water is often used adjectively and in the formation of
many self-explaining compounds; as, water drainage;
water gauge, or water-gauge; waterfowl, water-fowl, or
water fowl; water-beaten; water-borne, water-circled,
water-girdled, water-rocked, etc.
Hard water. See under Hard.
Inch of water, a unit of measure of quantity of water,
being the quantity which will flow through an orifice one
inch square, or a circular orifice one inch in diameter,
in a vertical surface, under a stated constant head; also
called miner's inch, and water inch. The shape of the
orifice and the head vary in different localities. In the
Western United States, for hydraulic mining, the standard
aperture is square and the head from 4 to 9 inches above
its center. In Europe, for experimental hydraulics, the
orifice is usually round and the head from 1/2 of an inch
to 1 inch above its top.
Mineral water, waters which are so impregnated with foreign
ingredients, such as gaseous, sulphureous, and saline
substances, as to give them medicinal properties, or a
particular flavor or temperature.
Soft water, water not impregnated with lime or mineral
To hold water. See under Hold, v. t.
To keep one's head above water, to keep afloat; fig., to
avoid failure or sinking in the struggles of life.
To make water.
(a) To pass urine. --Swift.
(b) (Naut.) To admit water; to leak.
Water of crystallization (Chem.), the water combined with
many salts in their crystalline form. This water is
loosely, but, nevertheless, chemically, combined, for it
is held in fixed and definite amount for each substance
containing it. Thus, while pure copper sulphate, CuSO4,
is a white amorphous substance, blue vitriol, the
crystallized form, CuSO4.5H2O, contains five molecules
of water of crystallization.
Water on the brain (Med.), hydrocephalus.
Water on the chest (Med.), hydrothorax.
Note: Other phrases, in which water occurs as the first
element, will be found in alphabetical order in the
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