waterworks (n.) Look up waterworks at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from water (n.1) + work (n.).
watery (adj.) Look up watery at Dictionary.com
Old English wæterig; see water (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Wateriness.
watt (n.) Look up watt at Dictionary.com
unit of electrical power, 1882, in honor of James Watt (1736-1819), Scottish engineer and inventor. The surname is from an old pet form of Walter and also is in Watson.
wattage (n.) Look up wattage at Dictionary.com
1897, from watt + -age.
wattle (n.2) Look up wattle at Dictionary.com
"fleshy appendage below the neck of certain birds," 1510s (extended jocularly to human beings, 1560s), of uncertain origin and of doubtful relationship to wattle (n.1). Related: Wattled.
wattle (n.1) Look up wattle at Dictionary.com
"stakes interlaced with twigs and forming the framework of the wall of a building," Old English watol "hurdle," in plural "twigs, thatching, tiles," related to weðel "bandage," from Proto-Germanic *wadlaz, from PIE *au- (3) "to weave" (see weeds). Surviving in wattle-and-daub "building material for huts, etc." (1808).
Watusi (n.) Look up Watusi at Dictionary.com
racial group in Rwanda and Burundi (also called Tutsi), 1899. As the name of a popular dance, attested from 1964.
wave (v.) Look up wave at Dictionary.com
"move back and forth," Old English wafian "to wave, fluctuate" (related to wæfre "wavering, restless, unstable"), from Proto-Germanic *wab- (cognates: Old Norse vafra "to hover about," Middle High German waben "to wave, undulate"), possibly from PIE root *webh- "to move to and fro; to weave" (see weave (v.)). Transitive sense is from mid-15c.; meaning "to make a sign by a wave of the hand" is from 1510s. Related: Waved; waving.
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
[Stevie Smith]
wave (n.) Look up wave at Dictionary.com
"moving billow of water," 1520s, alteration (by influence of wave (v.)) of Middle English waw, which is from Old English wagian "to move to and fro" (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German wag, Old Frisian weg, Old Norse vagr "water in motion, wave, billow," Gothic wegs "tempest;" see wag (v.)). The usual Old English word for "moving billow of water" was .

The "hand motion" meaning is recorded from 1680s; meaning "undulating line" is recorded from 1660s. Of people in masses, first recorded 1852; in physics, from 1832. Sense in heat wave is from 1843. The crowd stunt in stadiums is attested under this name from 1984, the thing itself said to have been done first Oct. 15, 1981, at the Yankees-A's AL championship series game in the Oakland Coliseum; soon picked up and popularized at University of Washington. To make waves "cause trouble" is attested from 1962.
wavelength (n.) Look up wavelength at Dictionary.com
also wave-length, 1850, "distance between peaks of a wave," from wave (n.) + length. Originally of spectra; radio sense is attested by 1925. Figurative sense of "mental harmony" is recorded from 1927, on analogy of radio waves.
waveless (adj.) Look up waveless at Dictionary.com
1590s, from wave (n.) + -less.
wavelet (n.) Look up wavelet at Dictionary.com
1808, mainly in poetry, from wave (n.) + diminutive suffix -let.
waver (v.) Look up waver at Dictionary.com
late 13c., weyveren, "to show indecision," probably related to Old English wæfre "restless, wavering," from Proto-Germanic *wæbraz (cognates: Middle High German wabern "to waver," Old Norse vafra "to hover about"), a frequentative form from the root of wave (v.). Related: Wavered; wavering.
wavy (adj.) Look up wavy at Dictionary.com
1580s, from wave (n.) + -y (2). Related: Waviness.
wax (n.) Look up wax at Dictionary.com
Old English weax "substance made by bees," from Proto-Germanic *wahsam (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German wahs, Old Norse vax, Dutch was, German Wachs), from PIE root *wokso- "wax" (cognates: Old Church Slavonic voskŭ, Lithuanian vaškas, Polish wosk, Russian vosk "wax" (but these may be from Germanic). Used of other similar substances from 18c. Slang for "gramophone record" is from 1932, American English (until the early 1940s, most original records were made by needle-etching onto a waxy disk which was then metal-plated to make a master). Waxworks "exhibition of wax figures representing famous or notorious persons" first recorded 1796.
wax (v.) Look up wax at Dictionary.com
"grow bigger or greater," Old English weaxan "to increase, grow" (class VII strong verb; past tense weox, past participle weaxen), from Proto-Germanic *wahsan (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German wahsan, Old Norse vaxa, Old Frisian waxa, Dutch wassen, German wachsen, Gothic wahsjan "to grow, increase"), from PIE *weg- (cognates: Sanskrit vaksayati "cause to grow," Greek auxein "to increase"), extended form of root *aug- "to increase" (see augment). Strong conjugation archaic after 14c. Related: Waxed; waxing.
wax-paper (n.) Look up wax-paper at Dictionary.com
1812, from wax (n.) + paper (n.).
waxen (adj.) Look up waxen at Dictionary.com
Old English wexen; see wax (n.) + -en (2).
waxwing (n.) Look up waxwing at Dictionary.com
1817, from wax (n.) + wing (n.). So called for appendages at the tips of its feathers which look like red sealing-wax.
waxy (adj.) Look up waxy at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "made of wax," from wax (n.) + -y (2). Figurative use from 1590s. Meaning "like wax" is from 1799. Related: Waxiness.
way (n.) Look up way at Dictionary.com
Old English weg "road, path; course of travel; room, space, freedom of movement;" also, figuratively, "course of life" especially, in plural, "habits of life" as regards moral, ethical, or spiritual choices, from Proto-Germanic *wegaz (cognates: Old Saxon, Dutch weg, Old Norse vegr, Old Frisian wei, Old High German weg, German Weg, Gothic wigs "way"), from PIE *wegh- "to move" (see weigh).

From c.1300 as "manner in which something occurs." Adverbial constructions attested since Middle English include this way "in this direction," that way "in that direction," both from late 15c.; out of the way "remote" (c.1300). In the way "so placed as to impede" is from 1560s.

From the "course of life" sense comes way of life (c.1600), get (or have) one's way (1590s), have it (one's) way (1709). From the "course of travel" sense comes the figurative go separate ways (1837); one way or (the) other (1550s); have it both ways (1914); and the figurative sense of come a long way (1922).

Adverbial phrase all the way "completely, to conclusion" is by 1915; sexuial sense implied by 1924. Make way is from c.1200. Ways and means "resources at a person's disposal" is attested from early 15c. Way out "means of exit" is from 1926. Encouragement phrase way to go is short for that's the way to go.
way (adv.) Look up way at Dictionary.com
c.1200, short for away (adv.). Many expressions involving this are modern and American English colloquial, such as way-out "far off;" way back "a long time ago" (1887); way off "quite wrong" (1892). Any or all of these might have led to the slang adverbial meaning "very, extremely," attested by 1984 (as in way cool).
way-out (adj.) Look up way-out at Dictionary.com
1868, "far off," from way (adv.), short for away, + out. Sense of "original, bold," is jazz slang from 1940s, probably suggesting "far off" from what is conventional or expected.
wayfarer (n.) Look up wayfarer at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., agent noun from way (n.) + fare (v.). Earlier was wayferer (late 14c.). The brand of sunglasses (manufactured by Ray-Ban) dates to 1952.
wayfaring (n.) Look up wayfaring at Dictionary.com
14c., modification of Old English wegfarende "wayfaring;" see way (n.) + fare (v.).
waylay (v.) Look up waylay at Dictionary.com
"to ambush," 1510s, from way (n.) + lay (v.), on model of Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wegelagen "besetting of ways, lying in wait with evil or hostile intent along public ways." Related: Waylaid; waylaying.
Wayne Look up Wayne at Dictionary.com
surname, by 1319, variant of Wain, representing wainwright, wainer (see wain) or perhaps "one who dwells by the tavern with the sign of the wain."
wayside (n.) Look up wayside at Dictionary.com
"the side of the road," c.1400, from way (n.) + side (n.). To fall by the wayside is from Luke viii:5.
wayward (adj.) Look up wayward at Dictionary.com
late 14c., shortening of aweiward "turned away," from way (adv.), shortening of away + -ward. Related: Waywardly; waywardness.
we (pron.) Look up we at Dictionary.com
Old English we, first person plural pronoun, "I and another or others," from Proto-Germanic *wiz (cognates: Old Saxon wi, Old Norse ver, Danish vi, Old Frisian wi, Dutch wij, Old High German and German wir, Gothic weis "we"), from PIE *we- (cognates: Sanskrit vayam, Old Persian vayam, Hittite wesh "we," Old Church Slavonic ve "we two," Lithuanian vedu "we two").

The "royal we" (use of plural pronoun to denote oneself) is at least as old as "Beowulf" (c.725); use by writers to establish an impersonal style is also from Old English; it was especially common 19c. in unsigned editorials, to suggest staff consensus, and was lampooned as such since at least 1853 (see wegotism).
weak (adj.) Look up weak at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Old Norse veikr "weak," cognate with Old English wac "weak, pliant, soft," from Proto-Germanic *waikwa- "yield" (cognates: Old Saxon wek, Swedish vek, Middle Dutch weec, Dutch week "weak, soft, tender," Old High German weih "yielding, soft," German weich "soft"), from PIE root *weik- (4) "to bend, wind" (see vicarious).

Sense of "lacking authority" is first recorded early 15c.; that of "lacking moral strength" late 14c. In grammar, denoting a verb inflected by regular syllabic addition rather than by change of the radical vowel, from 1833. Related: Weakly. Weak-kneed "wanting in resolve" is from 1870.
weaken (v.) Look up weaken at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to become feeble," from weak + -en (1). Transitive sense from 1560s. Related: Weakened; weakening.
weakfish (n.) Look up weakfish at Dictionary.com
1838, from Dutch weekvisch, from week "soft" (see weak). So called because it does not pull hard when hooked.
weakling (n.) Look up weakling at Dictionary.com
1520s, coined by Tyndale from weak (adj.) + -ling as a loan-translation of Luther's Weichling "effeminate man" (from German weich "soft") in I Cor. vi.9, where the Greek is malakoi, from malakos "soft, soft to the touch," "Like the Lat. mollis, metaph. and in a bad sense: effeminate, of a catamite, a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness" ["Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament"].
weakness (n.) Look up weakness at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "quality of being weak," from weak + -ness. Meaning "a disadvantage, vulnerability" is from 1590s. That of "self-indulgent fondness" is from 1712; meaning "thing for which one has an indulgent fondness" is from 1822.
weal (n.1) Look up weal at Dictionary.com
"well-being," Old English wela "wealth," in late Old English also "welfare, well-being," from West Germanic *welon-, from PIE root *wel- (2) "to wish, will" (see will (v.)). Related to well (adv.).
weal (n.2) Look up weal at Dictionary.com
"raised mark on skin," 1821, alteration of wale (q.v.).
weald (n.) Look up weald at Dictionary.com
Old English (West Saxon) weald "forest, woodland," specifically the forest between the North and South Downs in Sussex, Kent, and Surrey; a West Saxon variant of Anglian wald (see wold). Related: Wealden.
wealth (n.) Look up wealth at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "happiness," also "prosperity in abundance of possessions or riches," from Middle English wele "well-being" (see weal (n.1)) on analogy of health.
wealthy (adj.) Look up wealthy at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "happy, prosperous," from wealth + -y (2). Meaning "rich, opulent" is from early 15c. Noun meaning "wealthy persons collectively" is from late 14c.
wean (v.) Look up wean at Dictionary.com
Old English wenian "to accustom, habituate," from Proto-Germanic *wanjan (cognates: Old Norse venja, Dutch wennen, Old High German giwennan, German gewöhnen "to accustom"), from PIE *won-eyo-, from root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for." The sense of "accustom a child to not suckling from the breast" in Old English was generally expressed by gewenian or awenian, which has a sense of "unaccustom" (compare German abgewöhnen, entwöhnen "to wean," literally "to unaccustom"). The prefix subsequently wore off. Figurative extension to any pursuit or habit is from 1520s.
weanling (n.) Look up weanling at Dictionary.com
1530s, from wean + -ling.
weapon (n.) Look up weapon at Dictionary.com
Old English wæpen "instrument of fighting and defense, sword," also "penis," from Proto-Germanic *wæpnan (cognates: Old Saxon wapan, Old Norse vapn, Danish vaaben, Old Frisian wepin, Middle Dutch wapen, Old High German wafan, German Waffe "weapon"), from *webno-m, of unknown origin with no cognates outside Germanic.
weaponry (n.) Look up weaponry at Dictionary.com
1812, from weapon + -ry.
weapons of mass destruction (n.) Look up weapons of mass destruction at Dictionary.com
"nuclear, biological and chemical weapons" attested by 1946, apparently first used (in Russian) by the Soviets.
The terms "weapons of mass destruction" and "WMD" mean chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, and chemical, biological, and nuclear materials used in the manufacture of such weapons. [United States Code: Title 50, "War and National Defense," chapter 43, ยง 2902, 2009]
wear (v.) Look up wear at Dictionary.com
Old English werian "to clothe, put on, cover up," from Proto-Germanic *wazjan (cognates: Old Norse verja, Old High German werian, Gothic gawasjan "to clothe"), from PIE *wos-eyo-, from root *wes- (4) "to clothe" (cognates: Sanskrit vaste "he puts on," vasanam "garment;" Avestan vah-; Greek esthes "clothing," hennymi "to clothe," eima "garment;" Latin vestire "to clothe;" Welsh gwisgo, Breton gwiska; Old English wæstling "sheet, blanket;" Hittite washshush "garments," washanzi "they dress").

The Germanic forms "were homonyms of the vb. for 'prevent, ward off, protect' (Goth. warjan, O.E. werian, etc.), and this was prob. a factor in their early displacement in most of the Gmc. languages" [Buck]. Shifted from a weak verb (past tense and past participle wered) to a strong one (past tense wore, past participle worn) in 14c. on analogy of rhyming strong verbs such as bear and tear. Secondary sense of "use up, gradually damage" (late 13c.) is from effect of continued use on clothes. To wear down (transitive) "overcome by steady force" is from 1843. To wear off "diminish by attrition or use" is from 1690s.
wear (n.) Look up wear at Dictionary.com
"action of wearing" (clothes), mid-15c., from wear (v.). Meaning "what one wears" is 1560s. To be the worse for wear is attested from 1782; noun phrase wear and tear is first recorded 1660s, implying the sense "process of being degraded by use."
wearisome (adj.) Look up wearisome at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "weary," also "causing weariness," from weary + -some (1).
weary (adj.) Look up weary at Dictionary.com
Old English werig "tired, exhausted; miserable, sad," related to worian "to wander, totter," from Proto-Germanic *worigaz (cognates: Old Saxon worig "weary," Old High German wuorag "intoxicated"), of unknown origin.
weary (v.) Look up weary at Dictionary.com
Old English wergian "to be or become tired" (intransitive), gewergian "to exhaust, to make tired" (transitive), from the source of weary (adj.). Related: Wearied; wearying.