- 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
Related Wordsfroth, tizzy, yeast, foam, head, spume, suds, soap, cream, soapsuds, bustle, turmoil, fever, flap, agitation, confusion, twitter, hoopla, hubbub, state
Examples from the Web for lathering
“The work that I began my practice with is the Lathering and Shaving,” he said.The Original Apple Icon
October 6, 2010
Strategies run the gamut from freezing everything you own to lathering your body in a mix of rubbing alcohol and lavender oil.Vigilante Bedbug Exterminators
August 27, 2010
The horse, with lathering neck and distended nostrils, paused before them.The Plunderer
This lathering and rubbing to be done at another time from the first rubbing for the lungs.Papers on Health
Capital animals for an opposition, they take a lathering so quiet!Quodlibet
John P. Kennedy
I walked the lathering mare to the lines, like a tired jockey who has run his race.Tell England
After lathering the top of my head, she then shaved the hair off all round the wound, and I was ready for the surgeon's visit.Wounded and a Prisoner of War
Malcolm V. (Malcolm Vivian) Hay
- 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 and History for lathering
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.
Idioms and Phrases with lathering
see in a lather.