- material, as gold dust, obtained by washing earth, gravel, etc.
- the deposits so washed.
Definition for washing (2 of 2)
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.
Origin of wash
Examples from the Web for washing
For days, the ruble has been falling and salaries shrinking; shoppers have rushed to snap up TV sets and washing machines.After His Disastrous Annual Press Conference, Putin Needs A Hug|Anna Nemtsova|December 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There's a scene in which a nude Amy Elliott-Dunne, played with committed gusto by Rosamund Pike, is washing off in the shower.Yes, Ben Affleck Goes Full-Frontal in ‘Gone Girl,’ Confronting One of Cinema’s Last Taboos|Marlow Stern|October 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
We were finishing steaks at a motel dining room, washing them down with beer, when the waitress could stand it no longer.Football Great Bob Suffridge Wanders Through the End Zone of Life|Paul Hemphill|September 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The washing, touching, and kissing of these bodies—typical in many West African burials—can be deadly.
Another high-profile Lib Dem caused outcry by complaining that “the party was washing its dirty linen in public.”A Sleaze Civil War Engulfs Britain’s Liberal Democrats|Nico Hines|January 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
By the river some women, no larger in appearance than little dolls, were standing and washing.A Russian Proprietor|Lyof N. Tolstoi
Begin, if raw stock, by washing and rinsing thoroughly in order to remove all natural grease and dirt adhering to the fibre.The Practical Ostrich Feather Dyer|Alexander Paul
If washing does not remove them, use chloric ether, or new spirits of turpentine.The Young Housekeeper's Friend|Mrs. (Mary Hooker) Cornelius
Then, after washing their feet, the sweeper and the village headman walk barefoot hurriedly across the fire.The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India|R. V. Russell
This daily washing is a capital stove; for I find all hands say that, when it is once over, they feel like new men.The Sea Lions|James Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for washing (1 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for washing (2 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for washing (3 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
Word Origin and History for washing (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.
Word Origin and History for washing (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.
Medicine definitions for washing
Idioms and Phrases with washing
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