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noun (used with a plural verb)
  1. soapy water.
  2. foam; lather.
  3. Slang. beer.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to wash with soap or detergent (often followed by out): to suds out a pair of socks.
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Origin of suds

1540–50; 1900–05 for def 3; perhaps < Middle Dutch sudse puddle, marsh; akin to sodden
Related formssuds·a·ble, adjectivenon·suds·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for suds


pl n
  1. the bubbles on the surface of water in which soap, detergents, etc, have been dissolved; lather
  2. soapy water
  3. slang, mainly US and Canadian beer or the bubbles floating on it
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Derived Formssudsy, adjective

Word Origin

C16: probably from Middle Dutch sudse marsh; related to Middle Low German sudde swamp; see seethe
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 suds


1540s, "dregs, leavings, muck," especially in East Anglia, "ooze left by flood" (this may be the original sense), perhaps borrowed from Middle Dutch sudse "marsh, bog," cognate with Old English soden, past participle of seoþan (see seethe). Meaning "soapy water" dates from 1580s; slang meaning "beer" first attested 1904.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper