WATER, noun Wauter. [G., Gr.]
1. A fluid, the most abundant and most necessary for living beings of any in nature, except air. water when pure, is colorless, destitute of taste and smell, ponderous, transparent, and in a very small degree compressible. It is reposited in the earth in inexhaustible quantities, where it is preserved fresh and cool, and from which it issues in springs, which form streams and rivers. But the great reservoirs of water on the globe are the ocean, seas and lakes, which cover more than three fifths of its surface, and from which it is raised by evaporation, and uniting with the air in the state of vapor, is wafted over the earth, ready to be precipitated in the form of rain, snow or hail.
WATER by the abstraction or loss of heat becomes solid, or in other words, is converted into ice or snow; and by heat it is converted into steam, an elastic vapor, one of the most powerful agents in nature. Modern chemical experiments prove that water is a compound substance, consisting of a combination of oxygen and hydrogen gases, or rather the bases or ponderable matter of those gases; or about two volumes or measures of hydrogen gas and one of oxygen gas. The proportion of the ingredients in weight, is nearly 85 parts of oxygen to 15 of hydrogen.
2. The ocean; a sea; a lake; a river; any great collection of water; as in the phrases, to go by water to travel by water
3. Urine; the animal liquor secreted by the kidneys and discharged from the bladder.
4. The color or luster of a diamond or pearl, sometimes perhaps of other precious stones; as a diamond of the first water that is, perfectly pure and transparent. Hence the figurative phrase, a man or a genius of the first water that is, of the first excellence.
5. water is a name given to several liquid substances or humors in animal bodies; as the water of the pericardium, of dropsy, etc.
Mineral waters, are those waters which are so impregnated with foreign ingredients, such as gaseous, sulphurous and saline substances, as to give them medicinal, or at least sensible properties. Most natural waters contain more or less of these foreign substances, but the proportion is generally too minute to affect the senses.
To hold water to be sound or tight. [Obsolete or vulgar.]