Definitions

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

  • n. A boatman.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A seaman, a sailor.
  • n. A man who lives or works on the water; a boatman.
  • n. Someone who distributes or supplies water for a living; a water-carrier.
  • n. Specifically, an attendant on cab stands who supplies water to the horses.
  • n. A man skilled in multiple aquatic sports disciplines, such as surfing, bodysurfing, undersea diving, canoe paddling, fishing, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A man who plies for hire on rivers, lakes, or canals, or in harbors, in distinction from a seaman who is engaged on the high seas; a man who manages fresh-water craft; a boatman; a ferryman.
  • n. An attendant on cab stands, etc., who supplies water to the horses.
  • n. A water demon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A boatman; a ferryman; a man who manages water-craft; one who plies for hire on rivers, etc.
  • n. One who carries or distributes water; specifically, a person who waits at a cab-stand for the purpose of supplying the horses with water, calling the cabmen when they are absent, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who drives or rides in a boat

Etymologies

From water +‎ man. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Denwood Long, a troubled slave catcher and eastern shore waterman, is coaxed out of retirement to break "The Code" and track down Liz.

    Song Yet Sung: Summary and book reviews of Song Yet Sung by James McBride.

  • And then on the road, there is trunk-lifter, and coachman, and guard, and beggar-man, and a critter that opens the coach door, that they calls a waterman, cause he is infarnal dirty, and never sees water.

    The Attaché; or, Sam Slick in England — Complete

  • The stand was now before their eyes; and the waterman was the first person to apply to — going to the waterman for information being clearly (if Mr. Armadale would excuse the joke) going to the fountain-head.

    Armadale

  • The waterman was a merry-looking man who spoke no word but whistled to himself cheerfully as he laid himself to the oars, and the boat began to move slantingly across the flowing tide.

    The King's Achievement

  • The stand was now before their eyes; and the waterman was the first person to apply to -- going to the waterman for information being clearly (if Mr. Armadale would excuse the joke) going to the fountain-head.

    Armadale

  • "Then we had better go ourselves, Tom," said I, and we went forward to call the waterman, who was lying on his oars close to the frigate.

    Jacob Faithful

  • When this was obtained, he would call a waterman, throw him a crown, and tell him to get out of his wherry as fast as he could.

    Jacob Faithful

  • Magsaysay award winner Rajendra Singh, also known as the waterman of India, on Wednesday expressed solidarity with the agitation launched by Dhotre.

    Daily News & Analysis

  • They were written "in character;" and the character was that of the "waterman" at the Charing-cross cabstand, first discovered by George Cattermole, whose imitations of him were a delight to Dickens at this time, and adapted themselves in the exuberance of his admiration to every conceivable variety of subject.

    The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete

  • "waterman" is labouring at the oar, rowing him across a river.

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 19, No. 551, June 9, 1832

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