- foam or froth made by a detergent, especially soap, when stirred or rubbed in water, as by a brush used in shaving or by hands in washing.
- foam or froth formed in profuse sweating, as on a horse.
- Informal. a state of excitement, agitation, nervous tension, or the like: He was in a lather over my delay.
- to form a lather: a soap that lathers well.
- to become covered with lather, as a horse.
- to apply lather to; cover with lather: He lathered his face before shaving.
- Informal. to beat or whip.
Origin of lather1
- a worker who puts up laths.
Origin of lather2
Related Words for latherfroth, tizzy, yeast, foam, head, spume, suds, soap, cream, soapsuds, bustle, turmoil, fever, flap, agitation, confusion, twitter, hoopla, hubbub, state
Examples from the Web for lather
Contemporary Examples of lather
One of the first, UVeBand, tracks how well your sunscreen is performing—and pings you when its time to lather up again.Sunny Smartwatches, Bags, and iGrills: This Summer’s Must-Have Tech
May 27, 2014
As a boy, I watched my grandfather create a froth of lather in that cup, and shave himself with a straight razor.Scott Turow: How I Write
October 23, 2013
That only makes more mysterious the lather he can work himself into whenever he talks about these issues on air today.Al Sharpton’s Past Ties to Vote Fraud Taint His Fulminating
December 10, 2011
Working the gossips of UrbanBaby into a lather is a low bar; losing them lower still.What's Really Behind the Prep-School Mom's Twitter Meltdown
April 14, 2011
But is the press getting itself worked into a lather over what Barbour did and thought when he was a teenager?Haley Barbour's Mississippi Memories
December 21, 2010
Historical Examples of lather
It was a heart-tearing thing to see her run to the point of lather and then keep on.Way of the Lawless
You get up to soothe them and find them in a lather of sweat and scared to a tremble.Ranching, Sport and Travel
When Emil alighted at the Shabatas' gate, his horse was in a lather.O Pioneers!
The horse was not winded, but it trembled and reeked with sweat and lather.Lorraine
Robert W. Chambers
He was borne up the seas; he slid down the seas in a lather of white foam.Benita, An African Romance
H. Rider Haggard
- foam or froth formed by the action of soap or a detergent in water
- foam formed by other liquid, such as the sweat of a horse
- informal a state of agitation or excitement
- to coat or become coated with lather
- (intr) to form a lather
Word Origin for lather
Old English lauþr "foam, washing soda," from Proto-Germanic *lauþran (cf. Old Norse lauðr "washing soap, foam"), from PIE *loutro- (cf. Gaulish lautron, Old Irish loathar "bathing tub," Greek louein "to bathe," Latin lavere "to wash"), which is from root *leu(e)- "to wash" + instrumentative suffix *-tro-. The modern noun might be a 16c. redevelopment from the verb. Meaning "violent perspiration" (especially of horses) is from 1650s. Meaning "state of agitation" (such as induces sweating) is from 1839.
Old English laþran, from Proto-Germanic *lauþrjan (cf. Old Norse leyðra "to clean, wash;" see lather (n.)). Related: Lathered; lathering.
see in a lather.