[General] meaning of "water down"

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keen learner

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What does "water down" mean and how can it be used?
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SoothingDave

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Dilute. To lessen in strength to impact.

That bar is a ripoff. They water down the drinks.
 

keen learner

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Is it used in a negative sense?
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SoothingDave

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Usually. If you paid for drinks would you want them to be watered down? If you needed a cure, would you want the full thing or a diluted version? If you were in charge of advertising a product would you want the full campaign you designed or a watered down version to be run?
 

Tdol

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But if you own the bar that's watering down the drinks, you might not think of it so negatively. If a criticism in a report is watered down, some will be pleased and may use the same verb- we got them to water the report down. But it is usually negative.
 
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