verb (used with object)
- to subject (earth or ore) to the action or force of water in order to separate valuable material.
- to separate (valuable material) in this way.
verb (used without object)
- an upper surface so inclined as to shed rain water from a building.
- any member of a building having such a surface.
- to clean completely by washing: to wash down a car.
- to facilitate the swallowing of (food or medicine) by drinking water or other liquid: to wash down a meal with a glass of wine.
- to be removed by washing: The stain wouldn't wash out.
- to damage or demolish by the action of water: The embankment was washed out by the storm.
- Informal.to fail to qualify or continue; be eliminated: to wash out of graduate school.
- to become dim, indistinct, or blurred: The face of the watch washes out in sunlight.
- to wash one's face and hands: Aren't you going to wash up? Dinner is almost ready.
- to wash (dishes, flatware, pots, etc.): I'll wash up the dishes, don't bother. We had someone in to wash up after the party.
- to end, especially ignominiously (usually in the passive): After that performance, he's all washed up as a singer.
- to have a good or satisfactory result; turn out eventually: The situation may look hopeless now, but it will all come out in the wash.
- to be revealed; become known.
Origin of wash
Synonyms for wash
Related Words for washwashing, cleaning, shampoo, drench, moisten, hose, scrub, soak, float, shower, douse, wet, wipe, rinse, stick, bathe, ablution, cleansing, undulation, rush
Examples from the Web for wash
Contemporary Examples of wash
A limited edition export stout known as the Indra Kunindra came to wash it down.Dinner at Nitehawk Cinema: ‘Christmas Vacation’ and a Beer in a Pear Tree
December 12, 2014
Another boy walks around and offers a water jug and basin for everyone to wash their hands.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
She details how he, for many years, wanted no one but her to wash, clothe, and feed him.The Other Side of Stephen Hawking: Strippers, Aliens, and Disturbing Abuse Claims
November 6, 2014
And so if two candidates are a wash on matters of civil rights, why not go for the guy who is going to cut your taxes?Return of the Northeastern Republican
November 4, 2014
Get a flu shot, wash your hands, and cover your mouth when you cough.Parents’ Ebola Panic Is Taking Over My Clinic
October 15, 2014
Historical Examples of wash
Then it's settled that you do the cooking and I wash the dishes?
He has the sense to wash his face first, for he knows he will have to come.
When you come out, we'll settle who's to cook and who to wash dishes.
Mary, I'll wash the breakfast dishes, as my mother used to do!Quaint Courtships
You go an' wash your 'ands, an' I'll 'ave your dinner up in 'alf a jiff!The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
- euphemisticto go to the lavatory
- (usually foll by of)to refuse to have anything more to do (with)
- any medicinal or soothing lotion for application to a part of the body
- (in combination)an eyewash
- the technique of making wash drawings
- See wash drawing
Word Origin for wash
Old English wascan, wæscan, from Proto-Germanic *watskanan (cf. Old Norse vaska, Middle Dutch wasscen, Dutch wassen, German waschen), from stem *wat-, the source of water. Related: Washed; washing. Used mainly of clothes in Old English (the principal verb for washing the body, dishes, etc. being þwean). Washed-out "faded" is from 1837. Washed up is 1923 theater slang, from notion of washing up at the end of a job.
late Old English wæsc "act of washing" (see wash (v.)). Meaning "clothes set aside to be washed" is attested from 1789; meaning "thin coat of paint" is recorded from 1690s; sense of "land alternately covered and exposed by the sea" is recorded from mid-15c.
In addition to the idioms beginning with wash
- wash down
- washed out
- washed up
- wash one's dirty linen in public
- wash one's hands of
- wash out
- wash up
- come out in the wash
- won't wash