- material, as gold dust, obtained by washing earth, gravel, etc.
- the deposits so washed.
Origin of washing
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
Synonyms for wash
Examples from the Web for washing
Contemporary Examples of 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
December 18, 2014
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
October 1, 2014
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
September 6, 2014
The washing, touching, and kissing of these bodies—typical in many West African burials—can be deadly.Kissing the Corpses in Ebola Country
August 13, 2014
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
January 24, 2014
Historical Examples of washing
If there is any washing necessary, he is content to do it after the meal.In the Midst of Alarms
They want to get into the garage; they insist on washing the car.Her Father's Daughter
It was washing all the color out of the picture, and leaving it a dirty gray.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
I will do the washing this time, mother, for it is the greatest of delights to me.The Dream
When I went there, the place was full of people who would have been much better for a washing.American Notes
- 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
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.
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.
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