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[leyv] /leɪv/
verb (used with object), laved, laving.
to wash; bathe.
(of a river, sea, etc.) to flow along, against, or past; wash.
Obsolete. to ladle; pour or dip with a ladle.
verb (used without object), laved, laving.
Archaic. to bathe.
Origin of lave1
before 900; Middle English laven, partly < Old French laver < Latin lavāre to wash; partly representing Old English lafian to pour water on, wash, itself perhaps < Latin lavāre
Related forms
unlaved, adjective
unlaving, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for laving
Historical Examples
  • Let it stand thus two or three days in wood, laving it thrice a day, a pretty while each time.

  • They had sacked Urumtsi, and were laving close siege to Manas.

    The Life of Yakoob Beg Demetrius Boulger
  • In a few minutes he was aboard the ferry, and the cooler air that sweeps the Hudson was laving him.

    The Imitator Percival Pollard
  • He had come on foot, and fancied that we were laving out Fleete.

    Life's Handicap Rudyard Kipling
  • Oh, Kathleen, I can't be laving the children at all, at all.

  • More than anything else he loved to swim in the laving waters of Byrons Pool, at night or in the magic half-light of dawn.

    Heroes of To-Day Mary R. Parkman
  • Leaning on Lebanon, and laving her beautiful feet in the sea, the superb slave he burned to possess, still dreams in the sun.

  • The shock of the cold, and the sense of the running current laving his limbs, restored him in a measure to himself.

    The Waters of Edera Louise de la Rame, a.k.a. Ouida
  • Then they would renew their exertions to assuage the fever, and cool the brain by laving it with water.

  • Reaching over the side-rail, I filled the vessel with water for the purpose of laving my hands and face.

    The Smoky God Willis George Emerson
British Dictionary definitions for laving


an archaic word for wash
Word Origin
Old English lafian, perhaps from Latin lavāre to wash
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 laving



c.1200, from Old English gelafian "wash by pouring, pour (water)," possibly an early English or West Germanic borrowing (cf. Dutch laven, German laben) of Latin lavare "to wash," or its Old French descendant, laver. Latin lavare is from PIE *leu(e)- "to wash" (cf. Latin luere "to wash," Greek louein "to wash, bathe," Old Irish loathar "basin," Breton laouer "trough," Old English leaþor "lather").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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