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See more synonyms for lavish on Thesaurus.com
  1. expended, bestowed, or occurring in profusion: lavish spending.
  2. using or giving in great amounts; prodigal (often followed by of): lavish of his time; lavish of affection.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to expend or give in great amounts or without limit: to lavish gifts on a person.
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Origin of lavish

1425–75; late Middle English lavas profusion (noun), profuse (adj.) < Middle French lavasse downpour of rain, derivative of laver to wash < Latin lavāre
Related formslav·ish·er, nounlav·ish·ly, adverblav·ish·ness, nouno·ver·lav·ish, adjectiveo·ver·lav·ish·ly, adverbo·ver·lav·ish·ness, nounun·lav·ish, adjectiveun·lav·ished, adjective


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Synonym study

1, 2. Lavish, prodigal, profuse refer to that which exists in abundance and is poured out copiously. Lavish suggests (sometimes excessive) generosity and openhandedness: lavish hospitality; much too lavish. Prodigal suggests wastefulness, improvidence, and reckless impatience of restraint: a prodigal extravagance. Profuse emphasizes abundance, but may suggest overemotionalism, exaggeration, or the like: profuse thanks, compliments, apologies.


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for lavishness

Historical Examples

  • He has given in his diary some accounts of the lavishness of the Philadelphia larder.

    Home Life in Colonial Days

    Alice Morse Earle

  • Then at the thought of this lavishness Olivia was stricken dumb.

  • Lavishness or thrift, alike they proved a mothers affection.

  • He had been spending money with a lavishness that he wondered at now.

    A Little Girl of Long Ago

    Amanda Millie Douglas

  • In such a case, luxury becomes a duty, and lavishness the truest economy.

    Aladdin &amp; Co.

    Herbert Quick

British Dictionary definitions for lavishness


  1. prolific, abundant, or profuse
  2. generous; unstinting; liberal
  3. extravagant; prodigal; wastefullavish expenditure
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  1. (tr) to give, expend, or apply abundantly, generously, or in profusion
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Derived Formslavisher, nounlavishly, adverblavishment, nounlavishness, noun

Word Origin

C15: adj use of lavas profusion, from Old French lavasse torrent, 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 lavishness



1540s, from lavish (adj.). Related: Lavished; lavishing.

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mid-15c., from Middle French lavasse (n.) "torrent of rain, deluge," from Old French lavache, from laver "to wash," from Latin lavare "to wash" (see lave). Related: Lavishly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper