Definition of wet in English:

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Pronunciation: /wɛt/

adjective (wetter, wettest)

1Covered or saturated with water or another liquid: she followed, slipping on the wet rock
More example sentences
  • Use of a wet towel or dripping water to induce a perception of suffocating.
  • I'm noticing that the floor is wet - entirely covered in dark liquid.
  • By nightfall there were 20 climbers crowding the shelter and the walls were covered with wet clothes.
damp, dampened, moist, moistened;
soaked, drenched, saturated, wet through, sopping/dripping/wringing wet, sopping, dripping, soggy;
waterlogged, squelchy, marshy, boggy, swampy, miry
1.1(Of the weather) rainy: a wet, windy evening
More example sentences
  • The surface of a lava flow weathers, particularly in wet climates, to form a rich, reddish volcanic soil, called a bole.
  • But reality is that no soft shell as comfortable as the Serendipity will keep you dry in a torrential rain or hours of wet sleet.
  • Luck they had indoor entertainment as weather was extremely wet and windy.
rainy, raining, pouring, teeming, showery, drizzly, drizzling;
damp, humid, dank, misty
1.2(Of paint, ink, plaster, or a similar substance) not yet having dried or hardened: the waterproofer can easily be washed off while it is still wet
More example sentences
  • Oil paint is a wet mixture of pigments in an oily medium.
  • Painting into wet plaster with water soluble pigments is one of the most difficult of all challenges a painter can face.
  • The cupola and the concrete construction were corroded, the masonry was wet, and plaster work was peeling off.
sticky, not set, not hardened, not hard, tacky;
aqueous, watery, sloppy
1.3(Of a baby or young child) having urinated in its nappy or underwear: the baby was wet and needed changing
More example sentences
  • I believe there is no baby there, but I'm willing to have a wet infant hauled into view.
  • Unless I can conquer my competitive instincts, there'll be a lot of very wet toddlers and it'll all end in tears.
  • Anny picks up the wet nappy and tiptoes out of the room.
1.4Involving the use of water or liquid: wet methods of photography
More example sentences
  • Typically, the choice of a wet method requires specific knowledge about the sample as well as the level of accuracy required.
  • Tissue P status was analysed after wet digestion by the molybdate blue method.
  • Kistler was trying to prove that a gel contains a continuous solid network of the same size and shape as the wet gel.
1.5 Nautical (Of a ship) liable to take in water over her bows or sides.
2British informal Showing a lack of forcefulness or strength of character; feeble: they thought the cadets were a bit wet
feeble, silly, weak, foolish, inept, ineffective, ineffectual, effete, soft, namby-pamby, timid, timorous, spiritless, cowardly, spineless
informal sissy, sissified, pathetic, drippy, wimpish, wimpy, weedy, daft, chicken, yellow-bellied
2.1Conservative with liberal tendencies, especially as regarded by right-wing Conservatives: they came across as the most liberal or wet members of the government
More example sentences
  • As a died-in-the-wool wet liberal, I'm coming from an altogether different place than Mr. Philips.
  • I'm of the mind this is a good thing, but I am a wet wooly liberal.
  • Call me a wet Guardianista liberal, but a bit of peace, love and understanding wouldn't go astray.
3 informal (Of a country or region or of its legislation) allowing the free sale of alcoholic drink.
3.1(Of a person) addicted to or drinking alcohol: our programme depends on our willingness to help other alcoholics, both wet and dry

verb (wets, wetting; past and past participle wet or wetted)

[with object]
1Cover or touch with liquid; moisten: he wetted a finger and flicked through the pages (as noun wetting) it was a velvet cap, and a wetting would ruin it
More example sentences
  • If they seem bent and not curled, a good tip is wetting a Q-Tip and touching it to your lashes, before applying the mascara.
  • After the application of the repellent, subjects were instructed not to rub, touch, or wet the treated arm.
  • Concerned, I checked it and found that it only wet the cover over the pillow and did not seep to the pillow itself.
dampen, damp, moisten, humidify;
sprinkle, spray, splash;
soak, saturate, waterlog, flood, deluge, douse, souse, drench;
hose down, water, irrigate
technical ret
Scottish & Northern English  drouk
archaic sop
1.1(Especially of a baby or young child) urinate in or on: while dreaming the child wet the bed
More example sentences
  • ‘One young child wet the bed one night and was forced to walk round with a sandwich board over him the next day saying what he had done,’ she said.
  • But whenever one of our children wet the bed, he claimed that they were lazy, too lazy to get up, go to the bathroom.
  • At five years, more than one in six children still wet the bed.
1.2 (wet oneself) Urinate involuntarily: she was going to wet herself from fear
More example sentences
  • Thankfully when the doctor tried to set my bones I conveniently wet myself and passed out with the pain.
  • You can well imagine a young lad, his first time in battle, wetting himself with fear.
  • He had to wear a bag attached to his penis for fear of wetting himself because he could not say he wanted the toilet.
1.3 dialect Infuse (tea) by pouring on boiling water: she said she’d wet the tea immediately because they must be parched


1 [mass noun] Liquid that makes something damp: I could feel the wet of his tears
More example sentences
  • Sometimes he looks really cute and appealing, and then others he looks like he's been ridden hard and put away wet.
  • There's far too much wet around and I think it's softened my brain.
  • We run together down windows, streaming and sobbing and smashed into one big wet.
wetness, damp, dampness, moisture, moistness;
clamminess, sogginess;
wateriness, water, liquid
1.1 (the wet) Rainy weather: the race was held in the wet
More example sentences
  • His head was down and his ears back, his coat somewhat darker with the wet.
rain, rains, drizzle, wet/rainy/showery/damp weather, precipitation, spray, dew, damp
1.2 [count noun] British informal A drink: I took a wet from my bottle
2British informal A person lacking forcefulness or strength of character: there are sorts who look like gangsters and sorts who look like wets
namby-pamby, weakling, milksop, Milquetoast, baby;
coward, mouse
informal wimp, weed, drip, mummy's boy, mollycoddle, sissy, softie, jellyfish, chicken, yellow-belly, fraidy-cat, scaredy-cat
British informal big girl's blouse, jessie
North American informal candy-ass, cupcake, pantywaist, pussy
Australian/New Zealand informal sook
archaic poltroon
2.1A Conservative with liberal tendencies: the wets favoured a change in economic policy
More example sentences
  • But he says the divide is no longer between liberals and conservatives, or economic wets and dries.
  • I'm a conservative wet if you would like to apply a label.
  • Margaret Thatcher used the re-shuffle as an act of terror, exterminating wets and savaging useful fall guys.
3US A person opposed to the prohibition of alcohol.



all wet

Pronunciation: /ˌɔːl ˈwɛt/
North American Completely wrong: I may be all wet on this point
More example sentences
  • By the way, most people think Roberts is all wet.
  • Jeff actually knows what he's talking about, thinks I'm all wet on this one.
  • If the polls are all wet and the final vote breaks sharply one way or the other, people will want to claim the election as a historic watershed.

wet the baby's head

British informal Celebrate a baby’s birth with a drink, typically an alcoholic one.
Example sentences
  • No, not that, I did that with Muriel, John and Gus last night - you know, went for a drink to celebrate wetting the baby's head.
  • We definitely wet the baby's head afterwards, then the team came back to our house.
  • Many of you may want to help her wet the baby's head at the plush casual eatery next to Bar 38, off Coney Street, which is opening this weekend.

wet behind the ears

informal Lacking experience; immature: he’s a nice young fellow but a bit wet behind the ears
More example sentences
  • Nowadays, 32 seems a bit wet behind the ears to me, but from memory it is about the age that you start to feel like the oldest swinger in town when you step inside a nightclub.
  • Tell me son have you ever cut turf before, following up with, it's just that you look a bit wet behind the ears for this job.
  • A bit wet behind the ears, and failed to recreate from a place in the starting line-up what he achieved coming off the bench against Tunisia.

wet through (or to the skin)

With one’s clothes soaked; completely drenched: she was wet through and felt cold
More example sentences
  • I think it was this weekend when I woke up to discover that my futon was actually damp, wet through from my sweating into it during the night.
  • He was wet through so took off most of his clothes and emptied his pockets, to let everything dry off.
  • When they travelled miles to attend Mass on a Sunday morning, often in weather conditions that had them either wet to the skin or blue with the cold when they arrived at their place of worship.

wet one's whistle

informal Have a drink: they meet ostensibly to discuss politics, but also to wet their whistles with brandy and soda
More example sentences
  • A heat wave has descended on Central Europe, so I decide to wet my whistle with a drink in the Westec Saloon, hoping, as I've been promised, that I'll hear some good live music.
  • Emergency service workers struggle to make due under budgetary constraints set by a premier more interested in wetting his whistle than his forests.
  • Because beer drinking is popular, to say the least, there are hundreds of bier halles and biergartens where you can wet your whistle.



Pronunciation: /ˈwɛtli/
Example sentences
  • I was merely glowing wetly, and worrying about the icecream I'd just bought melting through the bottom of my shopping bag and dripping all over my trainers.
  • Each sound is rendered in precise detail - bullets crack as they pass your head and thud wetly as they enter your body.
  • Garbage spewed onto the street, bones and water bottles clattering across the street, rotten vegetables splattering wetly against the sidewalk.


Pronunciation: /ˈwɛtəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Dusting sulphur and wettable sulphur are great for controlling a number of disease problems.
  • In addition, the characteristics of the wetted surface affect the cavitation threshold; cavitation thresholds of seawater are significantly more negative on wettable surfaces than on non-wettable surfaces.
  • Measurements using miniature flush-mounted pressure transducers show that suckers can generate hydrostatic pressures below 0 kPa on wettable surfaces but cannot do so on non-wettable surfaces.


Example sentences
  • A light drizzle, wettish coolness, fragrant air, twittering birds, no tourists, few locals, you don't even realise you've been walking for a couple of hours.
  • The indications are that Thursday and Friday could be wettish.
  • The finish may have been of an exciting nature, but the inventive moments were extremely rare, at a bitterly cold, and for a spell, wettish Kilmaine on Saturday evening.


Old English wǣt (adjective and noun), wǣtan (verb); related to water.

  • water from Old English:

    The people living around the Black Sea more than 5 000 years ago had a word for water. We do not know exactly what it was, but it was probably the source for the words used for ‘water’ in many European languages, past and present. In Old English it was wæter. The Greek was hudōr, the source of words like hydraulic (mid 17th century) and hydrotherapy (late 19th century). The same root led to the formation of Latin unda ‘wave’, as in inundate (late 18th century), abound (Middle English) (from Latin abundare ‘overflow’), and undulate (mid 17th century), Russian voda (the source of vodka), German Wasser, and the English words wet (Old English) and otter (Old English). Of the first water means ‘unsurpassed’. The three highest grades into which diamonds or pearls could be classified used to be called waters, but only first water, the top one, is found today, describing a completely flawless gem. An equivalent term is found in many European languages, and all are thought to come from the Arabic word for water, , which also meant ‘shine or splendour’, presumably from the appearance of very pure water. People and things other than gems began to be described as of the first water in the 1820s. Nowadays the phrase is rarely used as a compliment: in a letter written in 1950, P.G. Wodehouse commented disparagingly on J. M. Barrie's play The Admirable Crichton: ‘I remember being entranced with it in 1904 or whenever it was, but now it seems like a turkey of the first water.’ If you study a duck shaking its wings after diving for food you will see the point of water off a duck's back, used since the 1820s of a potentially hurtful remark that has no apparent effect. The water forms into beads and simply slides off the bird's waterproof feathers, leaving the duck dry. Water under the bridge refers to events that are in the past and should no longer to be regarded as important. Similar phrases are recorded since the beginning of the 20th century. A North American variant is water over the dam. The first uses of waterlogged, in the late 18th century, referred to ships that were so flooded with water that they became heavy and unmanageable, and no better than a log floating in the sea. A watershed, a ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers or seas, has nothing to do with garden sheds but means ‘ridge of high ground’ and is connected with shed (Old English) meaning ‘discard’.

Words that rhyme with wet

abet, aiguillette, anisette, Annette, Antoinette, arête, Arlette, ate, baguette, banquette, barbette, barrette, basinet, bassinet, beget, Bernadette, beset, bet, Bette, blanquette, Brett, briquette, brochette, brunette (US brunet), Burnett, cadet, caravanette, cassette, castanet, charette, cigarette (US cigaret), clarinet, Claudette, Colette, coquette, corvette, couchette, courgette, croquette, curette, curvet, Debrett, debt, dinette, diskette, duet, epaulette (US epaulet), flageolet, flannelette, forget, fret, galette, gazette, Georgette, get, godet, grisette, heavyset, Jeanette, jet, kitchenette, La Fayette, landaulet, launderette, layette, lazaret, leatherette, let, Lett, lorgnette, luncheonette, lunette, Lynette, maisonette, majorette, maquette, Marie-Antoinette, marionette, Marquette, marquisette, martinet, met, minaret, minuet, moquette, motet, musette, Nanette, net, noisette, nonet, novelette, nymphet, octet, Odette, on-set, oubliette, Paulette, pet, Phuket, picquet, pillaret, pincette, pipette, piquet, pirouette, planchette, pochette, quartet, quickset, quintet, regret, ret, Rhett, roomette, rosette, roulette, satinette, septet, serviette, sestet, set, sett, sextet, silhouette, soubrette, spinet, spinneret, statuette, stet, stockinet, sublet, suffragette, Suzette, sweat, thickset, threat, Tibet, toilette, tret, underlet, upset, usherette, vedette, vet, vignette, vinaigrette, wagonette, whet, winceyette, yet, Yvette

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wet

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