from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Diminished in force or effect: "[Students] who do not [test well] get a watered-down curriculum that reflects the system's minimal expectations of them” ( Sheila Tobias).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. diluted; containing extra water
  • adj. weakened or simplified


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Blauer Heinrich—blue Henry—people called the watered-down milk they’d come to associate with the war, and when the boy drank, he swallowed so hard that Trudi could hear him.

    Stones from the River

  • Though often criticized as offering a “watered-down” version of Christianity, Warren dismisses this critique.

    American Grace

  • I absolutely loved the book, but the adaptation tried so hard to be faithful to the source that it ended up a watered-down, incomprehensible mess.

    Who botches the Watchmen?

  • Maybe someone should ask Olympia Snowe whether she would vote for a bill with watered-down protection for pre-existing conditions.

    Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Negotiating Against Themselves

  • It's the danger of indulging Hollywood with a cuddly, watered-down version of Ricky Gervais, who keeps it in its comfort zone.

    Danny Groner: Ricky Gervais' Defenders Around the World

  • I don't think he's trying to sell a watered-down version of the Gospel so that he can make a name for himself, as some of his more cynical critics claim.

    Carl Medearis: Why Are We So Angry About Hell?

  • Insist that House leadership ALLOW A VOTE on the Stupak/Pitts Amendment to prohibit abortion funding (and no other watered-down substitution like the Ellsworth Amendment).

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • The planned mineral resources rent tax is a watered-down version of an originally proposed so-called super profits tax, which ran into a storm of opposition after it was unveiled in May 2010, eventually contributing to the downfall of then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

    Australia Proposed Mining Tax Hits New Snag

  • Whatever issue you care to name, from childhood obesity (linked to agribusiness subsidies) to war (linked to the power of the military-industrial complex), from a watered-down health care bill (linked big pharma and health insurance corporations), to a failing economy (which Wall Street and corporations have depleted in favor of global speculation), the power of the one percent is at the root of the problem.

    Sarah van Gelder: Where the 99% Get Their Power

  • As a result, watered-down agreements have ceased to offer any net gains that would justify long, complex and costly negotiations.

    Moving beyond Doha

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