- Nautical. water thrown backward by the motion of oars, propellers, paddle wheels, etc.
- Aeronautics. the portion of the wash of an aircraft that flows to the rear, usually created by the power plant.Compare wash(def 31).
- a condition, usually undesirable, that continues long after the event which caused it.
- to affect, as by hitting, rocking, or splashing, with a backwash: a powerful cutter backwashing the skiers.
- to clean out (a clogged filter) by reversing the flow of fluid: Backwash the swimming pool's filters regularly.
Origin of backwash
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for backwash
The water is not deep enough to drown him yet, if he is not carried away by the backwash.'Chatterbox, 1906
The backwash of civilization in the Orient is not our concern.Peking Dust
Ellen N. La Motte
I must write you of what I have seen, the other side, the backwash.The Backwash of War
Ellen N. La Motte
One seems on the other side of creation's wall—in the backwash of the waters.The Secrets of a Kuttite
Edward O. Mousley
Does the Sahib know whither the backwash of the flood had borne me?Soldiers Three
- a sucking movement of water, such as that of retreating wavesCompare swash (def. 4)
- water washed backwards by the motion of oars or other propelling devices
- the backward flow of air set up by an aircraft's engines
- a condition resulting from a previous event; repercussion
- (tr) to remove oil from (combed wool)
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 backwash
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper