[uh-wosh, uh-wawsh]

adjective, adverb

  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.
covered with water.
washing about; tossed about by the waves.
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




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. 2019

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

at a level even with the surface of the sea
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