adjective, rash·er, rash·est.

acting or tending to act too hastily or without due consideration.
characterized by or showing too great haste or lack of consideration: rash promises.

Origin of rash

1350–1400; Middle English; cognate with Dutch, German rasch quick, brisk, Old Norse rǫskr brave
Related formsrash·ly, adverbrash·ness, noun

Synonyms for rash

Antonyms for rash

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for rashness

indiscretion, hastiness, haste, carelessness, foolhardiness

Examples from the Web for rashness

Historical Examples of rashness

  • The rashness of such a requirement and statement can escape no one.

  • Let not the penance for a rashness, to which fate urges me on, attach to my country, but to me.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • You shall not threaten me into a rashness that my heart condemns!

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • The good spirit of our life has no heaven which is the price of rashness.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • When you have achieved their comfort, you are at liberty to plunge into any rashness you choose.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

British Dictionary definitions for rashness




acting without due consideration or thought; impetuous
characterized by or resulting from excessive haste or impetuositya rash word
Derived Formsrashly, adverbrashness, noun

Word Origin for rash

C14: from Old High German rasc hurried, clever; related to Old Norse roskr brave




pathol any skin eruption
a series of unpleasant and unexpected occurrencesa rash of forest fires
Derived Formsrashlike, adjective

Word Origin for rash

C18: from Old French rasche, from raschier to scratch, from Latin rādere to scrape
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 rashness



late 14c., "nimble, quick, vigorous" (early 14c. as a surname), a Scottish and northern word, perhaps from Old English -ræsc (cf. ligræsc "flash of lightning") or one of its Germanic cognates, from Proto-Germanic *raskuz (cf. Middle Low German rasch, Middle Dutch rasc "quick, swift," German rasch "quick, fast"). Related to Old English horsc "quick-witted." Sense of "reckless, impetuous, heedless of consequences" is attested from c.1500. Related: Rashly; rashness.



"eruption of small red spots on skin," 1709, perhaps from French rache "a sore" (Old French rasche "rash, scurf"), from Vulgar Latin *rasicare "to scrape" (also source of Old Provençal rascar, Spanish rascar "to scrape, scratch," Italian raschina "itch"), from Latin rasus "scraped," past participle of radere "to scrape" (see raze). The connecting notion would be of itching. Figurative sense of "any sudden outbreak or proliferation" first recorded 1820.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rashness in Medicine




A skin eruption.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.