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verb \ˈwȯsh, ˈwäsh, chiefly Midland also ˈwȯrsh or ˈwärsh\

Simple Definition of wash

  • : to clean (something) with water and usually soap

  • : to carry (something) by the movement of water

  • : to be carried by the movement of water

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of wash

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to cleanse by or as if by the action of liquid (as water) b :  to remove (as dirt) by rubbing or drenching with liquid

  3. 2 :  to cleanse (fur) by licking or by rubbing with a paw moistened with saliva

  4. 3 a :  to flush or moisten (a bodily part or injury) with a liquid b (1) :  to wet thoroughly :  drench (2) :  to overspread with light :  suffuse c :  to pass a liquid (as water) over or through especially so as to carry off material from the surface or interior

  5. 4 :  to flow along or dash or overflow against <waves washing the shore>

  6. 5 :  to move, carry, or deposit by or as if by the force of water in motion <houses washed away by the flood>

  7. 6 a :  to subject (as crushed ore) to the action of water to separate valuable material b :  to separate (particles) from a substance (as ore) by agitation with or in water c (1) :  to pass through a bath to carry off impurities or soluble components (2) :  to pass (a gas or gaseous mixture) through or over a liquid to purify it especially by removing soluble components

  8. 7 a :  to cover or daub lightly with or as if with an application of a thin liquid (as whitewash or varnish) b :  to depict or paint by a broad sweep of thin color with a brush

  9. 8 :  to cause to swirl <washing coffee around in his cup>

  10. 9 :  launder 3 <how the mob washes its money through corrupt bankers — Vincent Teresa>

  11. intransitive verb
  12. 1 :  to wash oneself or a part of one's body

  13. 2 :  to become worn away by the action of water

  14. 3 :  to clean something by rubbing or dipping in water

  15. 4 a :  to become carried along on water :  drift <cakes of ice washing along> b :  to pour, sweep, or flow in a stream or current <waves of pioneers washing westward — Green Peyton>

  16. 5 :  to serve as a cleansing agent <this soap washes thoroughly>

  17. 6 a :  to undergo laundering <this dress doesn't wash well> b (1) :  to undergo testing successfully :  work 4 <an interesting theory, but it just won't wash> (2) :  to gain acceptance :  inspire belief <the story didn't wash with me>

wash one's hands of
  1. :  to disclaim interest in, responsibility for, or further connection with

Examples of wash in a sentence

  1. We have to wash the dishes.

  2. Did you wash your hands?

  3. The flooding washed sand and silt all over the area.

  4. The pollution washes into rivers from nearby factories.

  5. Water washed over the deck of the ship.

  6. Waves washed up onto the beach.

Origin of wash

Middle English, from Old English wascan; akin to Old High German waskan to wash and perhaps to Old English wæter water

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of wash

  • : an act of cleaning something by using water and soap : an act of washing something

  • : a group of clothes, towels, sheets, etc., that are being washed or that are going to be washed

  • : the movement of water; especially : the waves made in the water after a moving boat passes by

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of wash

  1. 1 a :  a piece of ground washed by the sea or river b :  bog, marsh c (1) :  a shallow body of water (2) :  a shallow creek d West :  the dry bed of a stream —called also dry wash

  2. 2 a :  the act or process or an instance of washing or being washed b :  articles to be washed, being washed, or having been washed

  3. 3 :  the surging action or sound of waves; also :  something resembling this action or sound <the warm wash of applause that followed her … introduction — John Updike>

  4. 4 a :  worthless especially liquid waste :  refuse b :  an insipid beverage c :  vapid writing or speech

  5. 5 a :  a sweep or splash especially of color made by or as if by a long stroke of a brush <in the gray wash of early morning> b :  a thin coat of paint (as watercolor) c :  a thin liquid used for coating a surface (as a wall)

  6. 6 :  lotion

  7. 7 :  loose or eroded surface material of the earth (as rock debris) transported and deposited by running water

  8. 8 a :  backwash 1 b :  a disturbance in a fluid (as water or the air) produced by the passage of an airfoil or propeller

  9. 9 :  a situation in which losses and gains or advantages and disadvantages balance each other

Examples of wash in a sentence

  1. My jeans are in the wash.

  2. We could hear the wash of the waves against the rocks.

  3. The wash from speedboats is dangerous for swimmers.

15th Century

First Known Use of wash

15th century




Definition of wash

  1. 1 :  involving essentially simultaneous purchase and sale of the same security <spurious market activity resulting from wash trading>

  2. 2 :  washable <wash fabric>


First Known Use of wash




Definition of Wash

WASH Defined for Kids



verb \ˈwȯsh, ˈwäsh\

Definition of wash for Students


  1. 1 :  to cleanse with water and usually a cleaning agent (as soap) <Wash your hands and face.>

  2. 2 :  to wet completely with liquid <The flowers were washed with raindrops.>

  3. 3 :  to flow along or overflow against <Waves wash up on the shore.>

  4. 4 :  to remove or carry away by the action of water <Wash the mud off the car.> <She was washed overboard.>

  5. 5 :  to stand being cleansed without injury <Linen washes well.>




Definition of wash for Students

  1. 1 :  articles (as clothes, sheets, and towels) in the laundry

  2. 2 :  an act or instance of cleansing or of being cleansed <We gave the car a good wash.>

  3. 3 :  the flow, sound, or action of water

  4. 4 :  a backward flow of water (as made by the motion of a boat)

  5. 5 :  material carried or set down by water

Seen and Heard

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to eat gluttonously or ravenously

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