[ bash ]
/ bæʃ /
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See synonyms for: bash / bashed / bashing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
to strike with a crushing or smashing blow.
Chiefly British, Canadian. to hurl harsh verbal abuse at.
a crushing blow.
Informal. a thoroughly enjoyable, lively party.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Idioms about bash

    have a bash (at), British. to attempt; make an attempt.
    on the bash, British. working as a prostitute.

Origin of bash

First recorded in 1635–45; perhaps of expressive origin


basher, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does bash mean?

Bash means “to strike” something with great force. It’s been adopted as slang for hurling insults or verbal abuse at someone.

A bash is also an older slang term for “a wild party.”

Where did bash come from?

Dating back to the 1600s, the simple verb bash is “to hit something with force.” It’s equivalent with the words strike and beat.

The use of bash for “a wild party” appears as slang by at least the 1940s.

Bash, for “to insult or verbally abuse,” emerged by the 1950s out of the original “striking” sense of the verb (i.e., hurling very harsh, even hateful criticism). One historic instance is queer-bashing, or slurring the LGBTQ community. Use of this bashing saw even more use due to cyberbullying, trolling, and internet comment culture.

What about the bash- in bashful, meaning “shy” or “timid”? The bash- in bashful actually comes from a shortened form of abash, “to make ashamed or embarrassed.” Abash is related to the word abase, and the verb bash likely imitates the sound of bashing or is influenced by words like bang, smash, and dash.

Who uses bash?

Bashing, for “violent blows,” is frequently used in expressions like bash one’s head against a wall or keyboard. Expect to see this when someone’s in the pique of anger or frustration.

Bash, for “insult,” is used in speech, writing, and social media. Expect to see this bash when someone (or the internet hive mind) is bashing a celebrity, product, or some other cultural phenomenon they dislike: He bashed Samsung’s new phone … or Twitter bashed Facebook’s corporate apology about hacking. A basher (e.g., anime-basher) is not unlike a troll or hater. Bashing, as in the general practice of insulting something, is common, too. For instance: Quit bashing on the new gamers in the forum.

As mentioned, bash was once slang for a lively party. It’s still seen in phrases like birthday bash.

More examples of bash:

“As BuzzFeed News points out, things turned chaotic when people began catching wind of the plot. In response, Venom fans fired back with their own bad takes and memes bashing A Star Is Born.”
—Sarah Jasmine Montgomery, Complex, October 2018


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use bash in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bash

/ (bæʃ) informal /

See also bash up

Word Origin for bash

C17: of uncertain origin
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