- the foam or froth formed by soap or other detergent in water
- foamy sweat, as that on a racehorse
- Slang an excited or agitated state
Origin of latherMiddle English from Old English leathor, washing soda or soap, akin to Old Norse lauthr, washing soda, foam from Indo-European an unverified form loutro- from base an unverified form lou-, to lave
- to cover with lather
- Informal to flog soundly
- A foam formed by soap or detergent agitated in water, as in washing or shaving.
- Froth formed by profuse sweating, as on a horse.
- Informal A condition of anxious or heated discomposure; agitation: The students were in a lather over the proposed restrictions.
verblath·ered, lath·er·ing, lath·ers
- To spread with or as if with lather.
- Informal To give a beating to; whip.
- To produce lather; foam.
- To become coated with lather.
Origin of latherProbably from Middle English latheren to wash or soak clothes from Old English lēthran to cover with lather ; see leu(ə)- in Indo-European roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural lathers)
From Middle English lather, from Old English lÄ“aÃ¾or (“a kind of niter used for soap, soda"), from Proto-Germanic *lauÃ¾rÄ… (“that which is used for washing, soap"), from Proto-Indo-European *lowÊ°â‚ƒ-tro- (“that which is used for washing"), from Proto-Indo-European *lawe-, *lewÊ°â‚ƒ-, *lowÊ°â‚ƒ- (“to wash, bathe"). Cognate with Swedish lÃ¶dder (“lather, foam, froth, soap"), Icelandic lÃ¶Ã°ur (“foam, froth, a kind of niter used for soap"), Old Irish lÃ³athar (“wash-basin"), Ancient Greek Î»Î¿Ï…Ï„ÏÏŒÎ½ (loutrÃ³n, “a bath, wash-room"), Latin lavÅ (“wash"), Albanian laj (“I wash"), Ancient Greek Î»Î¿ÏÏ‰ (loÃºÅ). More at lye.
(third-person singular simple present lathers, present participle lathering, simple past and past participle lathered)
Frm Middle English *lethren, from Old English lÄ“Ã¾rian, lÈ³Ã¾rian, *lÄ«eÃ¾rian (“to anoint, smear, lather"), from Old English lÄ“aÃ¾or (“a kind of niter used for soap, soda"). See above.