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
Definition for wash (2 of 3)
Definition for wash (3 of 3)
Examples from the Web for 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|Rich Goldstein|December 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|DAILY BEAST
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|Marlow Stern|November 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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?
Get a flu shot, wash your hands, and cover your mouth when you cough.
"You must permit me to wash the wound on your head first," she insisted.Gordon Craig|Randall Parrish
Wash with alcohol until no more colour is discharged and the alcohol runs away clear and colourless.
Wash and stew: Stew or bake from twenty to thirty minutes after thorough washing, being the recognized mode.Boy Scouts Handbook|Boy Scouts of America
Pour off the stain and wash in distilled water until the film presents a pink colour.
With the last of the water in the canteen, he washed her face, he could not wash out the scar of course.The Chalice Of Courage|Cyrus Townsend Brady
British Dictionary definitions for wash (1 of 3)
- euphemistic to 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
British Dictionary definitions for wash (2 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for wash (3 of 3)
Word Origin and History for wash (1 of 2)
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.
Word Origin and History for wash (1 of 2)
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.
Medicine definitions for wash
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