• 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.
Show More
verb (used without object), laved, lav·ing.
  1. Archaic. to bathe.
Show More

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

bathe, float, bath, sponge, slosh, imbue, soak, swab, cleanse, douse, wet, bubble, soap, shine, moisten, hose, scrub, launder, scour, lap

Examples from the Web for laving

Historical Examples

  • Tunder-an-ouns, is it laving him that way you are afther—let me at him!'

    The Ned M'Keown Stories

    William Carleton

  • They had sacked Urumtsi, and were laving close siege to Manas.

    The Life of Yakoob Beg

    Demetrius Boulger

  • Oh, Kathleen, I can't be laving the children at all, at all.

  • He had come on foot, and fancied that we were laving out Fleete.

    Life's Handicap

    Rudyard Kipling

  • More than anything else he loved to swim in the laving waters of Byrons Pool, at night or in the magic half-light of dawn.

    Heroes of To-Day

    Mary R. Parkman

British Dictionary definitions for laving


  1. an archaic word for wash
Show More

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 laving



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").

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper