• synonyms


verb (used with object), laved, lav·ing.
  1. to wash; bathe.
  2. (of a river, sea, etc.) to flow along, against, or past; wash.
  3. Obsolete. to ladle; pour or dip with a ladle.
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verb (used without object), laved, lav·ing.
  1. Archaic. to bathe.
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Origin of lave1

before 900; Middle English laven, partly < Old French laver < Latin lavāre to wash; partly representing Old English lafian to pour water on, wash, itself perhaps < Latin lavāre
Related formsun·laved, adjectiveun·lav·ing, adjective


noun Scot.
  1. the remainder; the rest.
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Origin of lave2

before 1000; Middle English (Scots); Old English lāf; cognate with Old High German leiba, Old Norse leif, Gothic laiba; akin to leave1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for laves

Historical Examples

  • I ain't like Kilduff, that laves his estate in th' hands iv an agint.

    Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War

    Finley Peter Dunne

  • No, Jamie, he laves that t' the craithers who give 'im a livin'.

  • Luk now, how the laves is all spread out like wan wid spazzums.

    Two Little Savages

    Ernest Thompson Seton

  • The left bank, That Rhone, when he hath mix'd with Sorga, laves.

  • "Withero sometimes talks like a ha'penny book wi' no laves in it," she said.

British Dictionary definitions for laves


  1. an archaic word for wash
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Word Origin

Old English lafian, perhaps from Latin lavāre to wash
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 laves



c.1200, from Old English gelafian "wash by pouring, pour (water)," possibly an early English or West Germanic borrowing (cf. Dutch laven, German laben) of Latin lavare "to wash," or its Old French descendant, laver. Latin lavare is from PIE *leu(e)- "to wash" (cf. Latin luere "to wash," Greek louein "to wash, bathe," Old Irish loathar "basin," Breton laouer "trough," Old English leaþor "lather").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper