to apply water or some other liquid to (something or someone) for the purpose of cleansing; cleanse by dipping, rubbing, or scrubbing in water or some other liquid.
to remove (dirt, stains, paint, or any matter) by or as by the action of water (usually followed by out, off, etc.): to wash grime out of clothing.
to free from spiritual defilement or from sin, guilt, etc.: to be washed whiter than the snow.
to bathe, wet, or moisten with water or other liquid: a meadow newly washed with morning dew.
to flow through, over, or against: a shore or cliff washed by waves.
to carry, bring, remove, or deposit (something) by means of water or any liquid, or as the water or liquid does (often followed by up, down, or along): The storm washed the boat up on the shore. A sailor was washed overboard.
to wear or diminish, as water does by flowing over or against a surface (often followed by out or away): The rain had washed away the lettering on the stone.
(of water) to form by flowing over and eroding a surface: The flood had washed a new channel through the bottom lands.
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.
to purify (a gas or gaseous mixture) by passage through or over a liquid.
to cover with a watery or thin coat of color.
to overlay with a thin coat or deposit of metal: to wash brass with gold.
Slang. launder (def. 3).
to wash oneself: After using the insecticide spray they washed completely.
to wash clothes: Monday is the day we wash.
to cleanse anything with or in water or other liquid.
to undergo washing without injury, especially shrinking or fading: fabrics guaranteed to wash.
Informal. to be found true, valid, or real when tested or closely scrutinized; stand being put to the proof: His honesty won't wash.
to be carried or driven by water (often followed by along or ashore): The boat had washed ashore in the night.
to flow or beat with a lapping sound, as waves on a shore.
to move along in or as in waves, or with a rushing movement, as water.
to be eroded, as by a stream or by rainfall: a hillside that washes frequently.
to be removed by the action of water (often followed by away): Much of the topsoil washes away each spring.
the act or process of washing with water or other liquid: to give the car a wash.
a quantity of clothes, linens, etc., washed, or to be washed, at one time: a heavy wash.
a liquid with which something is washed, wetted, colored, overspread, etc.: She gave the room a wash of pale blue.
the flow, sweep, dash, or breaking of water: The wash of the waves had drenched us.
the sound made by this: listening to the wash of the Atlantic.
water moving along in waves or with a rushing movement: the wash of the incoming tide.
the rough or broken water left behind a moving ship, boat, etc.; wake: The little boats tossed about in the wash from the liner's propellers.
Aeronautics. the disturbance in the air left behind by a moving airplane or any of its parts: wing wash.
any of various liquids for grooming or cosmetic purposes: a hair wash.
a lotion or other liquid having medicinal properties, as an antiseptic solution or the like (often used in combination): to apply wash to a skinned knee; mouthwash; eyewash.
Mining. minerals from which valuable material can be extracted by washing.
the wearing away of the shore by breaking waves.
a tract of land washed by the action of the sea or a river.
a marsh, fen, or bog.
a small stream or shallow pool.
a shallow arm of the sea or a shallow part of a river.
a depression or channel formed by flowing water.
Geology. alluvial matter transferred and deposited by flowing water.
Also called dry wash. Western U.S. the dry bed of an intermittent stream.
a broad, thin layer of color applied by a continuous movement of the brush, as in water-color painting.
an upper surface so inclined as to shed rainwater from a building.
any member of a building having such a surface.
Metalworking.Also washing. a thin coat of metal applied in liquid form: a gold wash.
waste liquid matter, refuse, food, etc., from the kitchen, as for hogs; swill (often used in combination): hogwash.
washy or weak liquor or liquid food.
the fermented wort from which the spirit is extracted in distilling.
Informal. an action that yields neither gain nor loss: The company's financial position is a wash compared with last year.
capable of being washed without shrinking, fading, etc.; washable: a wash dress.
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.
Idioms about wash
come out in the wash,
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.
wash one's hands of. hand (def. 91).
- pre·wash, noun, verb (used with object)
- re·wash, verb
- un·der·wash, verb
- well-washed, adjective
Other definitions for -wash (2 of 3)
a combining form extracted from whitewash and added to a word that names a trend, a fad, or something otherwise deemed desirable, with the meaning “to give the appearance of,” indicating that the affiliation or association with the named thing is not genuine, as in a rebranding effort that attempts to cover up any negative facts or publicity: In an effort to evade environmental regulation, heavy industry is spending vast amounts to greenwash their impact.Parts of the gig economy are trying to sharewash their services.What real benefit is there for breast cancer research in pinkwashing products every October?
Other definitions for Wash. (3 of 3)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use wash in a sentence
Just wash, press, and frame a sack to add a special touch to any room in your house.
With a capacity of eight place settings, six wash settings, and even a reminder to refill your detergent, it’s a good addition to your kitchen.
Synthetics like polyester and nylon make their way into the environment from washing machines—which pull off and flush microfibers from the fabric—and of course, they also line landfills.Scientists Gene-Hack Cotton Plants to Make Them Every Color of the Rainbow | Jason Dorrier | August 11, 2020 | Singularity Hub
Two years prior, they’d said the building could use a power wash and little else.
Their powerful surges of water can uproot trees, topple buildings, carry boats inland and wash away beaches.
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 | Rich Goldstein | December 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Christian is the son of Mexican immigrants whose father works at a car wash and mother works at McDonalds.Forget the Kids Who Can’t Get In; What About Those Who Don’t Even Apply? | Jonah Edelman | December 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
First up is the larger wash still, its capacity ranging from 25,000 to 30,000 liters.When It Comes to Great Whisky, The Size of Your Still Matters | | December 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But since the government has now permitted the River God to leave the U.K., that excuse can no longer wash.Britain Has Lost Its Marbles: Elgin Loan Will Appease Putin | Geoffrey Robertson | December 5, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper.
He stood before the glass hung above the wash bench and 369 smoothed his hair.The Bondboy | George W. (George Washington) Ogden
Why, he ordered his chamber-maid to bring him some soap and warm water, that he might wash the sour krout off his hands.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
Then said Nqong from his bath in the salt-pan, "Come and ask me about it to-morrow, because I'm going to wash."Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II | Rudyard Kipling
On the wash-stand a spangled white tulle hat lay drowning in a basin half full of water.Rosemary in Search of a Father | C. N. Williamson
Shiv steered into the wash room, and the doors dropped back into place.
British Dictionary definitions for wash (1 of 3)
to apply water or other liquid, usually with soap, to (oneself, clothes, etc) in order to cleanse
(tr; often foll by away, from, off, etc) to remove by the application of water or other liquid and usually soap: she washed the dirt from her clothes
(intr) to be capable of being washed without damage or loss of colour
(of an animal such as a cat) to cleanse (itself or another animal) by licking
(tr) to cleanse from pollution or defilement
(tr) to make wet or moist
(often foll by away, etc) to move or be moved by water: the flood washed away the bridge
(esp of waves) to flow or sweep against or over (a surface or object), often with a lapping sound
to form by erosion or be eroded: the stream washed a ravine in the hill
(tr) to apply a thin coating of paint, metal, etc, to
(tr) to separate (ore, precious stones, etc) from (gravel, earth, or sand) by immersion in water
(intr; usually used with a negative) informal, mainly British to admit of testing or proof: your excuses won't wash with me this time
wash one's hands
euphemistic to go to the lavatory
(usually foll by of) to refuse to have anything more to do (with)
the act or process of washing; ablution
a quantity of articles washed together
a preparation or thin liquid used as a coating or in washing: a thin wash of paint; a hair wash
any medicinal or soothing lotion for application to a part of the body
(in combination): an eyewash
the flow of water, esp waves, against a surface, or the sound made by such a flow
the technique of making wash drawings
See wash drawing
the erosion of soil by the action of flowing water
a mass of alluvial material transported and deposited by flowing water
land that is habitually washed by tidal or river waters
the disturbance in the air or water produced at the rear of an aircraft, boat, or other moving object
gravel, earth, etc, from which valuable minerals may be washed
waste liquid matter or liquid refuse, esp as fed to pigs; swill
an alcoholic liquid resembling strong beer, resulting from the fermentation of wort in the production of whisky
come out in the wash informal to become known or apparent in the course of time
British Dictionary definitions for Wash (2 of 3)
the Wash a shallow inlet of the North Sea on the E coast of England, between Lincolnshire and Norfolk
British Dictionary definitions for Wash. (3 of 3)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with wash
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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.