Wash means to clean with a liquid, purify or moisten.verb
An example of wash is to use a damp cloth to wipe up a soiled table.
Wash is defined as the act of cleaning, purifying or moistening, or laundry that needs to be cleaned.noun
- An example of a wash is a scrubbing of the car.
- An example of wash are dirty clothes in the hamper.
- to clean by means of water or other liquid, as by dipping, tumbling, or scrubbing, often with soap, a detergent, etc.
- to make clean in a religious or moral sense; purify
- to make wet, or moisten; drench or flush with water or other liquid
- to cleanse (itself or another) by licking, as a cat does
- to flow over, past, or against: said of a sea, river, lake, waves, etc.
- to soak (out), flush (off), or carry (away) by or as by the use or action of water: to wash out dirt, a bridge washed away by the flood
- to make by flowing over and wearing away substance: a heavy rain that washed gullies in the bank
- to cut into or erode; wear (out or away) by flowing over: the flood washed out the road
- to act as a suitable cleaning agent for: soap that will wash silks
- to cover with a thin or watery coating of paint, esp. of water color
- to cover with a thin layer of metal
- to pass distilled water through (a precipitate in a filter)
- to pass (a gas) over or through a liquid in order to remove soluble matter
- to pass water through or over (earth, gravel, etc.) in order to separate ore, metal, precious stones, etc.
- to separate (the ore, etc.) in this way
Origin: ME wasshen < OE wæscan, akin to Ger waschen: for prob. IE base see water
- to wash oneself or one's hands, face, etc.: often with up
- to wash clothes
- to clean anything in, or by means of, water, etc.
- to undergo washing, esp. without fading or other damage
- to be removed by washing: usually with out or away: stains that will wash out
- to sweep or flow (over, against, along, up, etc.) in or as in waves or a current, stream, etc.
- to be cut, worn, or carried (out or away) by the action of water: the bridge had washed out
- to be eroded, as by the action of rain or a river
- Informal to withstand a test or examination: an alibi that won't wash
- the act or an instance of washing
- ☆ a place where something is washed: carwash
- a quantity of clothes, etc. washed, or to be washed
- waste liquid; refuse liquid food, as from cooking; swill; hogwash
- the rush, sweep, or surge of water or waves
- the sound of this
- water rushing, sweeping, or surging in waves
- the surge or eddy of water caused by a propeller, oars, paddle wheel, etc.
- a disturbed eddy of air left behind a moving airplane, propeller, etc.
- wear or erosion caused by a flow or falling of water, or by the action of waves
- silt, mud, debris, etc. carried and dropped by running water, as of a stream
- soil or earth from which metals, ores, precious stones, etc. may be washed
- low ground which is flooded part of the time, and partly dry the rest, with water standing in pools
- a bog; marsh
- a shallow pool or pond, or a small stream
- a shallow arm of the sea or part of a river
- a channel made by running water
- ☆ in the western U.S., the dry bed of a stream which flows only occasionally, usually in a ravine or canyon
- a thin, watery layer of paint, esp. of watercolor, applied with even, sweeping movement of the brush
- a thin coating of metal applied to a surface in liquid form
- any of various liquids as for cosmetic, grooming, or medicinal use: mouthwash
- fermented liquor ready for distillation
- weak liquor or liquid food
- ☆ Informal a drink of water, beer, etc. taken with whiskey, rum, etc.; chaser
- ☆ Informal a situation in which contrasted elements, as the losses and gains in a business transaction, offset each other
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb washed, wash·ing, wash·es verb, transitive
- a. To cleanse, using water or other liquid, usually with soap, detergent, or bleach, by immersing, dipping, rubbing, or scrubbing: wash one's hands; wash windows.b. To soak, rinse out, and remove (dirt or stain) with or as if with water: wash grease out of overalls.
- To make moist or wet; drench: Tears washed the child's cheeks.
- To flow over, against, or past: waves that washed the sandy shores.
- To carry, erode, remove, or destroy by the action of moving water: Heavy rains washed the topsoil away.
- To rid of corruption or guilt; cleanse or purify: wash sins away.
- To cover or coat with a watery layer of paint or other coloring substance.
- Chemistry a. To purify (a gas) by passing through or over a liquid, as to remove soluble matter.b. To pass a solvent, such as distilled water, through (a precipitate).
- To separate constituents of (an ore) by immersion in or agitation with water.
- To cause to undergo a swirling action: washed the tea around in the cup.
- To cleanse something in or by means of water or other liquid.
- a. To undergo washing without fading or other damage: This fabric will wash.b. Informal To hold up under examination; be convincing: “That [proclamation], of course, will not wash” (John Hughes).
- To flow, sweep, or beat with a characteristic lapping sound: Waves washed over the pilings.
- To be carried away, removed, or drawn by the action of water.
- The act or process of washing or cleansing.
- A quantity of articles washed or intended for washing: The wash is on the back porch.
- Waste liquid; swill.
- Fermented liquid from which liquor is distilled.
- A preparation or product used in washing or coating.
- A cosmetic or medicinal liquid, such as a mouthwash.
- a. A thin layer of watercolor or India ink spread on a drawing.b. A light tint or hue: “a wash of red sunset” (Thomas Pynchon).
- a. A rush or surge of water or waves.b. The sound of this rush or surge.
- a. Removal or erosion of soil by the action of moving water.b. A deposit of recently eroded debris.
- a. Low or marshy ground washed by tidal waters.b. A stretch of shallow water.
- Western U.S. The dry bed of a stream.
- Turbulence in air or water caused by the motion or action of an oar, propeller, jet, or airfoil.
- Informal An activity, action, or enterprise that yields neither marked gain nor marked loss: “[The company] doesn't do badly. That is, it's a wash” (Harper's).
- Used for washing.
- Being such that washing is possible; washable.
Origin: Middle English washen, from Old English wacsan, wǽscan; see wed-1 in Indo-European roots.
wash - Medical Definition
- To cleanse, using water or other liquid, usually with soap, detergent, or bleach, by immersing, dipping, rubbing, or scrubbing.
- To make moist or wet.
- The act or process of cleansing or washing.
- A solution used to cleanse or bathe a part.
wash - Phrases/IdiomsThe American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
come out in the washSlang
- to be revealed or explained sooner or later
- to be resolved eventually, esp. without intervention and after a period of time
- to clean by washing, esp. with a stream of water
- to follow (food, a drink of whiskey, etc.) with a drink, as of water
- â to drop out of or be dropped from a training course, athletic program, etc. because of failure
- to reject or fail
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
come out in the wash
- To be revealed eventually: The real reasons for her resignation will come out in the wash.
- To turn out well in the end: Don't worry: this project will come out in the wash.
wash (one's) hands of
- To refuse to accept responsibility for.
- To abandon; renounce.