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See also: waterloo


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From Middle Dutch, composed of water (water) +‎ loo (sacred wood, forest). More at water, lea.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˌwɔːtə(ɹ)ˈluː/, /ˈwɔːtə(ɹ)ˌluː/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌwɑtəɹˈluː/, /ˈwɑtəɹˌluː/

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A battle fought at Waterloo, Belgium on June 18, 1815, resulting in the epic, final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte.
  2. A district and large railway terminus in central London, England.
  3. The name of any of several villages, towns, and cities around the world.
    1. a city in Illinois, USA, and the county seat of Monroe County.
    2. a city in Iowa, USA, and the county seat of Black Hawk County.
    3. a village and a town in Seneca County, New York, USA; the village is the county seat of Seneca County.


  • (battle): Battle of Waterloo


Waterloo (plural Waterloos)

  1. A notable and decisive defeat for an individual; often in the phrase “to meet one’s Waterloo”.
    • 1903, O. Henry, Hygeia at the Solito:
      He flung his dime at a newsboy, got his Express, propped his back against the truck, and was at once rapt in the account of his Waterloo, as expanded by the ingenious press.
    • 2003, Frank Mackey, Steamboat Connections: Montreal to Upper Canada, 1816–1843:
      Surprisingly, Greenfield did not meet his Waterloo in this showdown with his competitors.
    • 2003, Craig B. Stanford, Upright: The Evolutionary Key to Becoming Human:
      The skull ended up as Dubois’ personal Waterloo. His work received nothing but rejection and derision throughout the next decade, and the bones became dark secrets for much of the early twentieth century, locked away in Dubois’ home, unavailable for study by other scholars.