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Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Idioms about dash

    cut a dash, to make a striking impression; be ostentatious or showy.

Origin of dash

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English verb dashen, daishen, dassen “to strike violently (as with a weapon)”; perhaps from Old Norse; compare Danish daske “to slap, flap,” Swedish daska “to slap (with an open hand)”; the noun is derivative of the verb

synonym study for dash

10. See rush1.

Other definitions for dash (2 of 3)

[ dash ]
/ dæʃ /

verb (used with object) Chiefly British.
to damn (usually used as an interjection).

Origin of dash

First recorded in 1790–1800; euphemism based on d—n, printed form of damn

Other definitions for dash (3 of 3)

[ dash ]
/ dæʃ /
(in West Africa)

a tip, bribe, or recompense.
verb (used with object)
to give a tip or bribe to (especially a government employee).

Origin of dash

First recorded in 1780–1790; perhaps alteration of dashee “gratuity, gift, tip,” used on the African coast along the Gulf of Guinea
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of dash?

Dash is a verb that means to strike violently, to run quickly over a short distance, or to frustrate or ruin. Dash is also used as a noun to mean a small amount of something added to a mixture. Dash has many other senses as a verb and a noun.

Usually, we say that something was dashed against something else. For example, if you dash a glass jar against the ground, you throw or bash it violently against the ground. In this sense, dash often implies that something was destroyed or was smashed into many pieces.

Real-life examples: You might want to dash your phone against your desk when it isn’t working right. You can dash water on your face to help wake you up in the morning.

Used in a sentence: I dashed the clock against the wall and it broke into a dozen pieces. 

Dash can also mean to run very quickly over a short distance.

Real-life examples: Holiday shoppers dash to the store to buy gifts before the shelves are empty. Horses dash to the finish line when trying to win a race. You might dash to the bus stop so you don’t miss the bus.

Used in a sentence: I dashed toward the table to stop my cat from falling to the floor. 

Dash is used in this same sense as a noun to mean a short burst of movement. It is a synonym of the word sprint.

Used in a sentence: I made a wild dash to the stove to grab the last slice of pizza. 

Dash can also mean to frustrate or ruin.

Used in a sentence: My dreams of being a soccer player were dashed when I found out I had asthma. 

As a noun, dash means a small amount of something that is used as an ingredient. This sense of dash is synonym of the words hint or pinch.

Real-life examples: A recipe may ask for a dash of cinnamon. You might put a dash of sprinkles on your ice cream cone. A person may add a dash of chlorine to a swimming pool to kill algae.

Used in a sentence: I threw a dash of pepper into the soup. 

Where does dash come from?

The first records of dash come from the later 1200s. It comes from the Middle English verb dashen, meaning “to strike violently (with a weapon).”

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to dash?

What are some synonyms for dash?

What are some words that share a root or word element with dash

What are some words that often get used in discussing dash?

How is dash used in real life?

Dash is a very common word with multiple meanings, especially “to run quickly.”



Try using dash!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of dash?

A. sprint
B. rush
C. creep
D. hurry

How to use dash in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dash (1 of 3)

/ (dæʃ) /

verb (mainly tr)

Word Origin for dash

Middle English dasche, dasse

British Dictionary definitions for dash (2 of 3)

/ (dæʃ) /

informal a euphemistic word for damn (def. 1), damn (def. 2)

British Dictionary definitions for dash (3 of 3)

/ (dæʃ) Western African /

a gift, commission, tip, or bribe
to give (a dash) to someone

Word Origin for dash

C16: perhaps from Fanti
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

Cultural definitions for dash


A punctuation mark (—) used to indicate a sudden break in thought, to set off parenthetical material, or to take the place of such expressions as that is and namely: “He's running for reelection — if he lives until then”; “Very few people in this class — three, to be exact — have completed their projects”; “She joined the chorus for only one reason — she loves to sing.” In the last example, where the parenthetical material comes at the end of the sentence rather than in the middle, a colon could be used instead of the dash.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.