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[ahy-wosh, ahy-wawsh] /ˈaɪˌwɒʃ, ˈaɪˌwɔʃ/
Also called collyrium. Pharmacology. a solution applied locally to the eye for irrigation or administering medication.
Informal. nonsense; bunk.
Origin of eyewash
First recorded in 1865-70; eye + wash Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for eyewash


a mild solution for applying to the eyes for relief of irritation, etc
(informal) nonsense; rubbish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for eyewash

"a wash or lotion for the eyes," 1866, from eye (n.) + wash (n.). Colloquial use for "blarney, humbug" (1884), chiefly British, is perhaps from the notion of "something intended to obscure or conceal facts or true motives." But this, and expression my eye also may be the verbal equivalent of the wink that indicates one doesn't believe what has been said (cf. French mon oeil in same sense, accompanied by a knowing pointing of a finger to the eye).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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eyewash in Medicine

eyewash eye·wash (ī'wŏsh')
A soothing solution for bathing or medicating the eye.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for eyewash



  1. hogwash •Eye, ''nonsense, humbug,'' is attested by 1859, and all my eye a century earlier; although the connection is not clear, these probably led to eyewash (1884+)
  2. Flattery; cajolery: eyewash to soften him up for the touch (1919+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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