[uh-wosh, uh-wawsh]
See more synonyms for awash on
adjective, adverb
  1. Nautical.
    1. just level with or scarcely above the surface of the water, so that waves break over the top.
    2. overflowing with water, as the upper deck of a ship in a heavy sea.
  2. covered with water.
  3. washing about; tossed about by the waves.
  4. covered, filled, or crowded: streets awash with shoppers; a garden awash in brilliant colors.

Origin of awash

First recorded in 1825–35; a-1 + wash


  1. a river in E Ethiopia, flowing NE through the Great Rift Valley to near the Djibouti border. 500 miles (805 km) long.
Also Ha·wash [hah-wahsh] /ˈhɑ wɑʃ/ Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for awash

afloat, inundated, flush, flushed, overflowing, brimming

Examples from the Web for awash

Contemporary Examples of awash

Historical Examples of awash

  • The bull followed, deeper and deeper, till his sides were awash.

    Wood Folk at School

    William J. Long

  • Because it's awash an' visible only at the fall o' the spring tides.

    The Grain Ship

    Morgan Robertson

  • She were all awash, though, sir, at high-water this morning!

    Bob Strong's Holidays

    John Conroy Hutcheson

  • The boat was some fifty yards from land by now, and was awash in a broken current.

    Hurricane Island

    H. B. Marriott Watson

  • My idea is they used that in the air, when they were running on the surface or just awash.

British Dictionary definitions for awash


adverb, adjective (postpositive) nautical
  1. at a level even with the surface of the sea
  2. washed over by the waves
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 awash

1825, originally nautical, "on the level of, flush with," from a- (1) "on" + wash (n.). Figurative use by 1912.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper