\ ˈdash \

Definition of dash 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to break by striking or knocking angrily dashed the bouquet of flowers against the table

2 : to knock, hurl, or thrust violently dashed water onto his face a boat that had been dashed against the rocks

3 : splash, spatter his pants were dashed with mud

4a : ruin, destroy the news dashed his hopes

b : depress, sadden

c : to make ashamed dashed by her scorn

5 : to affect by mixing in something different his delight was dashed with bitterness

6 : to complete, execute, or finish off hastily used with down or off dashed down a drinkdash off a letter… he dashed off the book in eight weeks … —Paul Fussell

7 [ euphemism ] : damn entry 1 sense 4 Dash it all!

intransitive verb

1 : to move with sudden speed dashed down the hallway

2 : smash waves dashing against the rocks



Definition of dash (Entry 2 of 2)

1a archaic : blow

b(1) : a sudden burst or splash a dash of rain

(2) : the sound produced by such a burst

2a : a stroke of a pen

b grammar : a punctuation mark — that is used especially to indicate a break in the thought or structure of a sentence

3 : a small usually distinctive addition a dash of salt a dash of humor

4 : flashy display really cuts a dash in his new suit

5 : animation in style and action the verve and dash of her personal writings

6a : a sudden onset, rush, or attempt make a dash for shelter

b sports : a short fast race won the 100-meter dash

7 : a long click or buzz forming a letter or part of a letter (as in Morse code) a combination of dots and dashes

8 automotive vehicles : dashboard sense 2 put the map on the dash

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of dash in a Sentence


I'm sorry, but I must dash. I'm late. She dashed down the hallway to the bathroom. People were dashing inside to get out of the rain. The waves dashed the boat against the rocks. Her hopes of winning a medal were dashed after she broke her leg.


We made a dash for the exit. the cavalry officer's dash and enthusiasm inspired his men to follow him into battle
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dozens of dogs darted, dashed, splashed or simply socialized Saturday during the Tinley Park Park District's fourth annual Beach Pawty. Dennis Sullivan, Daily Southtown, "Dog days of summer: Tinley Park district throws Beach Pawty at Canine Campus park," 9 July 2018 The Mexico fans, with their hopes dashed once again, did no flag-waving or horn-honking. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "World Cup double-bill: Mexico ousted by Brazil, but the best game came later," 2 July 2018 The video shows the officer firing three shots seconds after Antwon and another passenger are seen dashing from the car. CBS News, "Second night of rowdy protests over fatal police shooting of teen," 22 June 2018 The Washington Post reports the deer dashed down the platform, jumped down onto the tracks, bounded back up, tried to climb a wall and ran in front of a train. Fox News, "Frankly deer, the Metro station is no place for gallivanting," 12 June 2018 At one point, Stephen Curry dashed from his security to slap fives with fans. Noel Harris, sacbee, "Why half a million dollars in booze wasn't enough at Warriors' championship parade," 12 June 2018 At his pro day April 3, Badie ran his 40-yard dashes in the 4.4 range in front of representatives from more than 25 NFL teams, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals sign rookie free-agent running back Sherman Badie," 1 June 2018 Squirrels and birds dash about, dodging the lawnmowers. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, "Colma cemeteries rapidly running out of space for plots," 5 May 2018 Spying open ice, Girardi dashes backdoor and gains inside position on Boston forward Brian Gionta. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "A Game of Oddities: Tampa Bay's Game 4 Win Over Boston Featured Several Puzzling Moments," 5 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And there is a much bigger constituency that might appreciate a dash more Trumpery in their politicians. The Economist, "Donald Trump lays into Britain’s Brexit plan," 13 July 2018 While Fournette’s 40-yard dash wasn’t particularly dazzling at 4.51 seconds, his in-game speed has been unmatched. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Leonard Fournette wants to be taken off 'Madden' after botched speed rating," 12 July 2018 Serve in a bowl with chopped cilantro and mint and a dash of Gjusta Bakery olive oil. Rachel Marlowe, Vogue, "With a New Malibu Pop-Up, Gjusta Goods Provides Everything You Need for a Boho Chic Day at the Beach," 9 July 2018 And the whole thing, once again, might have ended there: a dash of delight during a time when so many people are in need of it. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "#PlaneBae and the Slow Death of Whimsy," 6 July 2018 That’s great and all, but football is so much more than 40-yard dash times. Stephen Holder, Indianapolis Star, "Colts' new offensive coordinator gets T.Y. Hilton crash course," 13 June 2018 Griffin showed up at the NFL Combine, ran the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.38) for a linebacker in 15 years and then put on a prosthetic left hand and bench-pressed 225 pounds 20 times as wide-eyed NFL coaches, scouts and executives looked on. Mike Bianchi, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Sadly, UCF role model Shaquem Griffin gets drafted behind Gators troublemaker Antonio Callaway?," 29 Apr. 2018 His 40-yard dash time is what might have improved his draft stock. cleveland.com, "Damion Ratley: Get to know the Browns' No. 175 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft," 28 Apr. 2018 Frazier’s 40-yard dash time would have put him in the top 10 for his position at the combine. Alex Schiffer, kansascity, "Marcell Frazier, Hogan Prep's Anthony Sherrils among MU players with free-agent deals | The Kansas City Star," 28 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dash.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dash


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dash


Middle English dasshen, probably from Middle French dachier to impel forward


see dash entry 1


dietary approaches to stop hypertension

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dash

Dictionary Entries near dash








Statistics for dash

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dash

The first known use of dash was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dash



English Language Learners Definition of dash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to run or move quickly or suddenly

: to hit something in a violent and forceful way

: to break or destroy (something) by throwing or hitting it against something



English Language Learners Definition of dash (Entry 2 of 2)

: a punctuation mark — that is used especially to show a break in thought or in the structure of a sentence (as in “We don't know where—or how—the problem began.”)

: a small amount of something that is added to something else

: the act of running or moving quickly or suddenly in a particular direction or to a particular place


\ ˈdash \
dashed; dashing

Kids Definition of dash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to knock, hurl, or shove violently The storm dashed the boat against a reef.

2 : smash entry 2 sense 1 He dashed the plate to pieces.

3 : splash entry 1 sense 2 She dashed water on her face.

4 : ruin entry 1 sense 2 Their hopes were dashed.

5 : to complete or do hastily He dashed off a note before leaving.

6 : to move with sudden speed The boys dashed up the stairs.



Kids Definition of dash (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a sudden burst or splash a dash of cold water

2 : a punctuation mark — that is used most often to show a break in the thought or structure of a sentence

3 : a small amount : touch Add a dash of salt.

4 : liveliness in style and action A scarf adds dash to the outfit.

5 : a sudden rush or attempt … Jane made a mad dash for the hall bathroom and yelled, “Home-free-all!” —Judy Blume, Sheila the Great

6 : a short fast race 100-yard dash

7 : a long click or buzz forming a letter or part of a letter (as in Morse code)

8 : dashboard


\ ˈdash \

Medical Definition of DASH 

: a diet that is designed to lower blood pressure and emphasizes the consumption of fruit, vegetables, grains, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on dash

What made you want to look up dash? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!