Meaning of WASH in English


I. ˈwȯsh, ˈwäsh, ˈwȯish, ÷ˈwȯ(ə)rsh or ˈwärsh verb

( washed -sht ; washed or archaic wash·en -shən ; washing ; washes )

Etymology: Middle English waschen, wasshen, washen, from Old English wascan, wæscan, waxan; akin to Old High German waskan to wash, Old Norse vaska, Old English wæter water — more at water

transitive verb


a. : to cleanse by the action of water or other liquid : dip, rub, or scrub in or with a liquid for the purpose of cleansing

wash clothes

wash your hands and face

wash the baby

b. : to remove (as dirt or coloring) by rubbing or drenching with water or other liquid

wash the stain out of the shirt

wash the mud off the car


a. : to cleanse the body or especially the hands and face of with water

washed himself thoroughly before sitting down to eat

b. : to free from ceremonial or moral defilement by cleansing with water or something likened to it in action or effect : cleanse or purify spiritually

wash me thoroughly from my iniquity — Ps 51:2 (Revised Standard Version)

a quiet that washes your mind clean — Wynford Vaughan-Thomas

c. : to purge away : obliterate — usually used with away

my sins, which were many, are all washed away — R.H.McDaniel

d. : to cleanse (as the face or fur) by licking or by rubbing with the paw usually moistened with saliva — used especially of cats


a. : to bathe or moisten (a bodily part or injury) with a liquid

wash the wound with water

wash the eyes with a mild antiseptic solution

b. : to wet with tears

tidings to wash the eyes of kings — Shakespeare


(1) : to wet thoroughly : drench , saturate

roses washed with dew — John Milton

(2) : to overspread with light : bathe , suffuse

the sunlight washing their branches — James Still

a late moon had come up and the barnyard was washed with moonlight — Sherwood Anderson

d. archaic : to occupy (oneself) in the action or sport of bathing

he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont, and being taken with the cramp, was drowned — Shakespeare

e. : to pass water over or through especially so as to carry off material from the surface or interior


a. : to touch in flowing : flow along the border of : dash or overflow against or over : lave

the countries whose shores are washed by its waves — Irish Digest

b. : to flow through and supply water to

a fine camping site, washed by a mountain stream


a. : to move, carry, or deposit by or as if by the force of water in motion

the mill, bridge, dam, and several houses were washed away in a flood — American Guide Series: Maryland

sediment washed down from the upper lakes — American Guide Series: Michigan

a wave of liberal reform washed the Indian peones back onto their lands — Green Peyton

b. : to cause to be in a specified place or condition by or as if by the thrust or sweep of water

sometimes a whole school of pilot whales is trapped in shoal water and washed ashore — American Guide Series: North Carolina

was washed overboard and drowned — W.A.Ganoe


a. : to wear away by the action of water : erode

the dirt road had been washed by heavy rains

b. : to form (a break or opening) by the action of water

the top speed a boat could make without washing a break in the berm — Edward Stanley


a. : to subject (as earth, gravel, or crushed ore) to the action of water to separate the valuable material from the worthless or less valuable

the most successful method of washing sand for gold — Mary S. Broome

— compare leach III 1a, lixiviate

b. : to separate (particles) from ore or other substance by agitation with or in water

c. : to remove something from as if by the action of water

the words tending to be washed of all specific meaning — H.P.Van Dusen


(1) : to pass through a bath of some liquid to carry off impurities or soluble components

(2) : to pass (a gas or gaseous mixture) through or over a liquid for the purpose of purifying it especially by removing soluble components — see scrub II 2a

e. : to bleach (a carpet or rug) by a chemical process


a. : to cover or daub lightly with an application of a liquid (as whitewash or varnish)

b. : to cover with a thin or watery coat of color : tint lightly and thinly

the moors are washed with purple of the wild cranberries — Mary H. Vorse

an architect's dream in palest grays washed with mauve — Claudia Cassidy

c. : to depict or paint by a broad sweep of thin or watery color with a brush — often used with in

a few loosely washed -in ink blots — W.S.Baldinger

d. : to overspread (as an animal's throat) with an outer flush or tint of another color

e. : to overlay with a thin coat of metal by deposit from a solution

steel washed with silver

9. dialect England : to launder clothes for

10. : to cause to swirl

picked up his glass and washed the brandy about in its deep base — Helen Howe

11. : to shuffle (playing cards) preparatory to dealing ; especially : to shuffle for dealing by another

12. : to dephosphorize (molten pig iron) by adding substances containing iron oxide and sometimes manganese oxide

intransitive verb

1. : to cleanse oneself or a part of one's body with water

washes before each meal


a. : to become worn away by the action of water : become eroded

the harrowed land washed — Russell Lord

— often used with away

b. : to becomes lost, impaired, or worn away as if by erosion — usually used with away

their social and their cultural identity washed away after some centuries — A.L.Kroeber

3. : to clean something by rubbing or dipping it in water : perform the operation of cleansing in water

told … she should be at home minding women's work, she answered there were plenty to spin and wash — R.L.Stevenson


a. : to be carried or floated along on water : drift

huge cakes of ice washing along the side

b. : to pour, sweep, or flow in a stream or current

feeling the wind wash pleasantly against his face — Norman Mailer

successive waves of pioneers washing westward — Green Peyton

5. : to serve as a cleansing agent

this soap washes thoroughly


a. : to undergo without damage the operation of being laundered

this material doesn't wash well


(1) : to undergo successfully submission to a test or process of proof : bear investigation

his story sounds good, but it won't wash

an interesting theory that won't wash

(2) : to inspire belief : gain acceptance

that yarn didn't wash with him — P.E.Lehman


a. of a wave : break

has a delightful location on the eastern shore, with slow waves washing almost at the base of its single street — American Guide Series: Vermont

b. : to move with a lapping or splashing sound

heard the ripple washing in the reeds — Alfred Tennyson

c. : to shuffle a deck of cards

it's my turn to wash

8. : to make a wash sale

- wash one's dirty linen in public

- wash one's hands of

II. noun

( -es )

Etymology: Middle English wasche, from waschen to wash



(1) : the process or work of washing clothing or household linen

did a full day's wash

: the process of being washed

his shirts shrank in the wash

(2) : an accumulation of articles (as of clothing) set apart for washing or in process of being washed

a string of wash hung drying in the hall — Eugene Kinkead

the family wash

the week's wash

b. : the act of washing : a cleansing or wetting with water

the car needs a good wash

c. : a washing of oneself especially of one's face and hands

recorded all the things which he was supposed to do — the two hot washes and the two cold washes a day — Pierre Burton

rolled up his sleeves and gave himself a quick wash



(1) : the surging action or attack of waves

exposed to the wash of waves at their base — P.E.James

(2) : surge

her novel comes as a great wash of fresh air — Sylvia Stallings

b. : erosion by action of waves

c. : the sound of water breaking against or over a surface

heard the wash of waves upon rocks — Nevil Shute


a. : a piece of ground washed by the action of a sea or river or sometimes covered and sometimes left dry : the shallowest part of a river, estuary, or arm of the sea

b. : bog , fen , marsh


(1) : a shallow body of water

(2) : a shallow creek

d. West : the dry bed of an intermittent stream often at the bottom of a canyon — called also dry wash


a. : waste liquid (as from a bath)

b. chiefly dialect : stale urine formerly used in washing clothes, soapmaking, and dyeing

c. : slop , swill

d. : worthless dregs : refuse

5. dialect chiefly England : a dry measure of varying capacity for oysters and whelks



(1) : an insipid or wishy-washy beverage

still felt refreshed and stimulated, after a few swallows of this wash — Emily Hahn

(2) : vapid writing or speech


(1) : fermented wort from which spirit is distilled — called also distillers' beer

(2) : a mixture of dunder, molasses, water, and scummings used in the West Indies for distillation


a. : a wide sweep or splash especially of color made by or as if by a long stroke with a coarse brush

the leaves had not turned, but there was a gold wash over everything — Anne G. Winslow

a magnificent full-grown male with the rich, almost golden-yellow wash over the belly — Thomas Barbour


(1) : a thin coat of paint (as watercolor)

the pencil and wash studies pinned to the walls — C.D.Lewis

(2) : wash drawing

(3) : a flat tone used for pictorial clarity in architectural drawings

c. : a liquid mixture of slight consistency used for coating a wall or other surface thinly

the cottages are still thatched with straw, and the walls are gay with the old pink wash — advt

d. : a thin coat of metal laid on something for beauty or preservation or deposited on a metal for counterfeiting a precious metal


a. : lotion 2

a good wash for festering or cankered wounds and sores — Emily Holt

b. : a liquid cosmetic, dentifrice, or hairdressing

perfumed alcoholic washes have had a vogue — Herman Goodman

c. : a mixture of ingredients (as beaten egg and water or milk) used by bakers for giving a glaze to baked goods


a. : material transported or deposited by water: as

(1) : loose or eroded surface material of the earth (as gravel and other rock debris) transported and deposited by running water : alluvium , silt ; especially : coarse alluvium

(2) : alluvial fan

(3) : a mound of detritus spreading in fan-shaped corrugated slopes below a gash in a cliff

b. : the action of run-off water in wearing away soil (as in gullying or sheet erosion) : the eroding of soil by rain wash

10. : an underground den especially of a bear

11. : soil yielding precious metal or gems under washing


a. : the backward current or disturbed water caused by some action or movement (as of oars or a steamer's screw or paddles) : a surge set up by and trailing after some moving object or process (as a ship, storm, or tidal wave) especially as dissipated in force or transmitted to a distance from the center of the disturbance

was left swaying like a small boat in the wash of a millionaire's yacht — Maurice Cranston

b. : a similar disturbance or wavelike agitation in the air set up by the passage of a storm center or rushing object (as an airplane)

c. : a disturbance in the air produced by the passage of an airfoil or propeller

the wash from the prop tugged at the loose ends of his scarf — Howard Hunt

d. : the dissipated current or force in the trail of an intellectual or social movement : eddy

hard to know how much … is solid accomplishment that will last, and how much is the wash of a wave of opinion — A.L.Kroeber

traveled there in the wash of the war — J.R.Walsh

13. : wash sale


a. : the upper surface of a member or material when given a slope to shed water : weathering

b. : a structure or receptacle shaped so as to receive and carry off water

III. adjective

Etymology: wash (I)

: capable of being washed without injury : washable

wash fabrics

a wash dress

wash goods

IV. adjective

Etymology: perhaps alteration (influenced by wash ) (II) of wearish

obsolete : washy , weak

their bodies of so weak and wash a temper — Francis Beaumont & John Fletcher

V. noun

: a situation in which losses and gains or advantages and disadvantages balance each other

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.