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  1. the flexible part of a whip; the section of cord or the like forming the extremity of a whip.
  2. a swift stroke or blow, with a whip or the like, given as a punishment: He received 20 lashes.
  3. something that goads or pains in a manner compared to that of a whip: the lash of his sharp tongue.
  4. a swift dashing or sweeping movement, as of an animal's tail; switch.
  5. a violent beating or impact, as of waves or rain, against something.
  6. an eyelash.
  7. Also called neck cord. a cord or a series of cords for lifting the warp in weaving a figured fabric.
verb (used with object)
  1. to strike or beat, as with a whip or something similarly slender and flexible.
  2. to beat violently or sharply against: The rain lashed the trees.
  3. to drive by or as if by strokes of a whip: He lashed them on to greater effort.
  4. to attack, scold, or punish severely with words: She lashed the students with harsh criticism.
  5. to dash, fling, or switch suddenly and swiftly: The crocodile lashed its tail.
verb (used without object)
  1. to strike vigorously at someone or something, as with a weapon or whip (often followed by out): He lashed wildly at his attackers.
  2. to attack or reprove someone with harsh words (often followed by out): to lash out at injustice.
  3. to move suddenly and swiftly; rush, dash, or flash: The coiled snake lashed suddenly.
  4. Chiefly British. to spend money lavishly or foolishly (usually followed by out).

Origin of lash1

1300–50; Middle English lashe (noun), lashen (v.); perhaps of expressive orig.
Related formslash·er, nounlash·ing·ly, adverblash·less, adjective


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14. berate, scold, tongue-lash.


verb (used with object)
  1. to bind or fasten with a rope, cord, or the like.

Origin of lash2

1400–50; late Middle English lasschyn, probably < Middle Dutch or Low German; compare Middle Dutch lasche patch, gusset, Dutch laschen to patch, scarf
Related formslash·er, nounlash·ing·ly, adverb


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tie, secure, rope, truss.


  1. an ocean-going vessel equipped with special cranes and holds for lifting and stowing cargo-carrying barges that can be sailed up inland waterways or into port facilities from offshore.

Origin of LASH

1960–65; l(ighter) a(board) sh(ip)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lash


  1. a sharp cutting blow from a whip or other flexible objecttwenty lashes was his punishment
  2. the flexible end or ends of a whip
  3. a cutting or hurtful blow to the feelings, as one caused by ridicule or scolding
  4. a forceful beating or impact, as of wind, rain, or waves against something
  5. See eyelash
  6. have a lash Australian and NZ informal to make an attempt at or take part in (something)
verb (tr)
  1. to hit (a person or thing) sharply with a whip, rope, etc, esp as a punishment
  2. (of rain, waves, etc) to beat forcefully against
  3. to attack with words, ridicule, etc
  4. to flick or wave sharply to and frothe restless panther lashed his tail
  5. to urge or drive with or as if with a whipto lash the audience into a violent mood
See also lash out
Derived Formslasher, nounlashingly, adverb

Word Origin

C14: perhaps imitative


  1. (tr) to bind or secure with rope, string, etc
Derived Formslasher, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Old French lachier, ultimately from Latin laqueāre to ensnare, from laqueus noose
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

Word Origin and History for lash


c.1300, las "a blow, a stroke," later "flexible part of a whip" (late 14c.), possibly imitative. The verb might be the source of the noun.


"bind," 1620s, originally nautical, from Middle French lachier, from Old French lacier "to lace" (see lace (v.)). Related: Lashed; lashing.


"to strike with a whip," c.1300, "to deal a blow;" later "to whip" (late 14c.); see lash (n.). Lash out "to strike out violently" is from 1560s. Related: Lashed; lashing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper