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It seems like a kind of house, if it is. I cannot grasp the meaning of watershed.

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don't shed no tears, No, woman, no cry... –  mplungjan Mar 15 '11 at 12:49
    
+1 for Bob Marley! And for slightly helping to answer the question. –  Juan Mendes Mar 15 '11 at 19:10

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Oxford dictionary online says

shed2 …(of a tree or other plant) allow (leaves or fruit) to fall to the ground…

A watershed sheds water to either side in much the same way an umbrella or raincoat sheds water.

The British National Corpus has

"I seem to have a veritable Serpentine in my locks," said the newcomer, still shedding water and laughing wildly.

Frankenstein unbound. Aldiss, Brian.

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This is definitely how I view the term. –  Robusto Mar 15 '11 at 10:49

The New Oxford American Dictionary says:

Early 19th century: from water + shed in the sense “ridge of high ground”, suggested by German *Wasserscheide¨, literally ‘water-divide’

It says of shed, in the sense “allow to fall to the ground”:

Old English sc(e)ādan [separate out (one selected group), divide,] also [scatter,] of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German scheiden.

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It's worth noting that the word watershed can also mean a critical point that marks a division or change of course.

Watershed is also the name given to the period of time in which programmes unsuitable for children can be shown on public television.

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A watershed can also be defined as a geographical area - as in "The Mississippi watershed..." determined by the boundary of the drainage area of a watercourse or river.

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