water down

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water down

1. To dilute, usually by literally adding water. A noun or pronoun can be used between "water" and "down." That place waters down their drinks. After you added the stock, the soup tasted like it had been watered down. I think you need to let it reduce some more.
2. To weaken or make less effective. A noun or pronoun can be used between "water" and "down." The problem with working with a large group is that you end up having to compromise and water down the final product just to make every one happy. I wish they wouldn't water down these films—audiences are sophisticated enough to understand a complex story without the main character having to spell it out.
3. To cover a surface with water. A noun or pronoun can be used between "water" and "down." Every night after the amusement park closes, workers water down the sidewalk to clean it for the next day.
4. To decrease the value of a stock (or a certain portion of that stock) by making more shares available. A noun or pronoun can be used between "water" and "down." You have to be careful that you don't purchase stock that can be watered down without your knowledge.
See also: down, water

water something down

 
1. to dilute something. Who watered the orange juice down? Jim watered down the orange juice.
2. to water something thoroughly. Will you water the lawn down tonight? Water down the lawn this evening so it will grow tomorrow.
3. Fig. to reduce the effectiveness or force of something. (Fig. on {2}.) Please don't water my declaration down. The new laws watered down the power of the president.
See also: down, water

water down

Dilute or weaken, as in He watered down that unfavorable report with feeble excuses. [Mid-1800s]
See also: down, water

water down

v.
1. To dilute or weaken something by adding water: The dishonest bartender watered down the liquor. The cook watered the sauce down.
2. To decrease the value of a share of stock, or the value of some group of shares, by increasing the number of shares available for sale: Investors are concerned that stock option grants will water down their holdings. I hope that decision doesn't water the stock values down.
3. To reduce the strength or effectiveness of something: In the end, the legislation was watered down by multiple amendments. The speaker watered his message down with lots of boring stories.
4. To wet the surface of something entirely: The fire department watered down the houses near the brush fire. The road crew watered the dusty road down.
See also: down, water
References in periodicals archive ?
Anheuser-Busch has denied the lawsuit's claims and states it has not engaged in any deceptive practices involving watering down their product.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs also said that the Obama administration had no intention of watering down the legislation in order to court wavering Republicans.
In our view, however, this is likely to result in a watering down of the Stability and Growth Pact as governments will always find excuses for an excessive deficit.
Romano Prodi regrets that the current compromise involves a watering down of its proposal, and urges France to use qualified majority voting to bypass the reservations expressed by certain Member States - Denmark, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Greece - opposed to any strengthening of existing measures.
The Tories' U-turns already include dropping their promise to cut taxes and watering down a guarantee to give people a set waiting time for NHS treatment.
Watering down the selection of French paintings are works by Kirchner, Kandinsky, Larionov, Mondrian, and others, all admittedly stunned by Fauvism though not part of it.
And he does so without ever watering down his burning gay rage that, for instance, the death of an ex-princess in a car accident can trigger worldwide mounting while our own losses by comparison pile up barely noticed.
The second method of watering down no-fault is to place no restrictions at all on the right to sue and merely to require insurers to sell, and in some cases drivers to buy, no-fault insurance.