/wosh, wawsh/ , v.t.
1. 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.
2. to remove (dirt, stains, paint, or any matter) by or as by the action of water (usually fol. by out, off, etc.): to wash grime out of clothing.
3. to free from spiritual defilement or from sin, guilt, etc.: to be washed whiter than the snow.
4. to bathe, wet, or moisten with water or other liquid: a meadow newly washed with morning dew.
5. to flow through, over, or against: a shore or cliff washed by waves.
6. to carry, bring, remove, or deposit (something) by means of water or any liquid, or as the water or liquid does (often fol. by up, down, or along ): The storm washed the boat up on the shore. A sailor was washed overboard.
7. to wear or diminish, as water does by flowing over or against a surface (often fol. by out or away ): The rain had washed away the lettering on the stone.
8. (of water) to form by flowing over and eroding a surface: The flood had washed a new channel through the bottom lands.
a. to subject (earth or ore) to the action or force of water in order to separate valuable material.
b. to separate (valuable material) in this way.
10. to purify (a gas or gaseous mixture) by passage through or over a liquid.
11. to cover with a watery or thin coat of color.
12. to overlay with a thin coat or deposit of metal: to wash brass with gold.
13. Slang. launder (def. 3).
14. to wash oneself: After using the insecticide spray they washed completely.
15. to wash clothes: Monday is the day we wash.
16. to cleanse anything with or in water or other liquid.
17. to undergo washing without injury, esp. shrinking or fading: fabrics guaranteed to wash.
18. Informal. to be found true, valid, or real when tested or closely scrutinized; stand being put to the proof: His honesty won't wash.
19. to be carried or driven by water (often fol. by along or ashore ): The boat had washed ashore in the night.
20. to flow or beat with a lapping sound, as waves on a shore.
21. to move along in or as in waves, or with a rushing movement, as water.
22. to be eroded, as by a stream or by rainfall: a hillside that washes frequently.
23. to be removed by the action of water (often fol. by away ): Much of the topsoil washes away each spring.
24. wash down ,
a. to clean completely by washing: to wash down a car.
b. to facilitate the swallowing of (food or medicine) by drinking water or other liquid: to wash down a meal with a glass of wine.
25. wash one's hands of . See hand (def. 75).
26. wash out ,
a. to be removed by washing: The stain wouldn't wash out.
b. to damage or demolish by the action of water: The embankment was washed out by the storm.
c. Informal. to fail to qualify or continue; be eliminated: to wash out of graduate school.
d. to become dim, indistinct, or blurred: The face of the watch washes out in sunlight.
27. wash up ,
a. to wash one's face and hands: Aren't you going to wash up? Dinner is almost ready.
b. 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.
c. to end, esp. ignominiously (usually in the passive): After that performance, he's all washed up as a singer.
28. the act or process of washing with water or other liquid: to give the car a wash.
29. a quantity of clothes, linens, etc., washed, or to be washed, at one time: a heavy wash.
30. a liquid with which something is washed, wetted, colored, overspread, etc.: She gave the room a wash of pale blue.
31. the flow, sweep, dash, or breaking of water: The wash of the waves had drenched us.
32. the sound made by this: listening to the wash of the Atlantic.
33. water moving along in waves or with a rushing movement: the wash of the incoming tide.
34. 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.
35. Aeron. the disturbance in the air left behind by a moving airplane or any of its parts: wing wash.
36. any of various liquids for grooming or cosmetic purposes: a hair wash.
37. 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.
38. Mining. minerals from which valuable material can be extracted by washing.
39. the wearing away of the shore by breaking waves.
40. a tract of land washed by the action of the sea or a river.
41. a marsh, fen, or bog.
42. a small stream or shallow pool.
43. a shallow arm of the sea or a shallow part of a river.
44. a depression or channel formed by flowing water.
45. Geol. alluvial matter transferred and deposited by flowing water.
46. Also called dry wash . Western U.S. the dry bed of an intermittent stream.
47. a broad, thin layer of color applied by a continuous movement of the brush, as in water-color painting.
48. Also called watershed, weathering . Archit.
a. an upper surface so inclined as to shed rain water from a building.
b. any member of a building having such a surface.
49. Also, washing . a thin coat of metal applied in liquid form: a gold wash.
50. waste liquid matter, refuse, food, etc., from the kitchen, as for hogs; swill (often used in combination): hogwash.
51. washy or weak liquor or liquid food.
52. the fermented wort from which the spirit is extracted in distilling.
53. Informal. an action that yields neither gain nor loss: The company's financial position is a wash compared with last year.
54. come out in the wash ,
a. 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.
b. to be revealed; become known.
55. capable of being washed without shrinking, fading, etc.; washable: a wash dress.
[ bef. 900; ME washen (v.), OE wascan (c. D wasschen, G waschen, ON vaska ) watskan, equiv. to * wat- (root of WATER) + * -sk- v. suffix + * -an inf. suffix ]
Syn. 1. clean, lave, rinse, launder, mop, swab. 4. bedew. 5. bathe. 28. ablution, cleansing, bathing. 41. swamp, morass.