Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1800-1900
Origin: water + shed 'line of high ground' (16-21 centuries) (from Old English scead 'separation'); suggested by German wasserscheide

watershed

noun
     
Related topics: Geography
wa‧ter‧shed [countable]
1 an event or time when important changes happen in history or in your life [= turning point]
watershed in
The 1932 election represented a watershed in American politics.
watershed decision/case etc
a watershed case on pension rights
2

the (9 o'clock) watershed

British EnglishAMT the time in the evening after which television programmes that are not considered suitable for children may be shown in Britain
3SG technical the high land separating two river systems

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