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From water +‎ man.


waterman (plural watermen)

  1. (obsolete) A seaman, a sailor.
  2. A man who lives or works on the water; a boatman.
  3. Someone who distributes or supplies water for a living; a water-carrier.
    • 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur, Faber & Faber 1992, p. 105:
      An elderly sheik shared this little ceremony with us, and afterwards benignly gave the waterman a coin and made him spurt scented water on his face and beard.
  4. (dated) Specifically, an attendant on cab stands who supplies water to the horses.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers to this entry?)
  5. (surfing) A man skilled in multiple aquatic sports disciplines, such as surfing, bodysurfing, undersea diving, canoe paddling, fishing, etc.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Describing someone as a waterman is the highest honour in the surfing community, reserved for those with long-standing and indisputably significant all-round achievements.

Related terms[edit]


  • Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967



From water (water) +‎ man (man).



waterman m (plural watermannen, diminutive watermannetje n)

  1. water boy, water carrier

Usage notes[edit]

Not to be confused with Waterman ("Aquarius, the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac").