Etymology
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waterfront (n.)

also water-front, 1834, American English, from water (n.1) + front (n.). To cover the waterfront "deal with thoroughly" is attested from 1913; I Cover the Waterfront was a 1932 best-seller by San Diego newspaperman Max Miller.

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Definitions of waterfront

waterfront (n.)
the area of a city (such as a harbor or dockyard) alongside a body of water;
From wordnet.princeton.edu