\ ˈdash \
dashed; dashing; dashes

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
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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here are four examples of when people’s alien fears (or hopes?) were utterly dashed. 4. Angela Chen, The Verge, "2018 in weird science, from alien conspiracies to sensory illusions," 23 Dec. 2018 Harry looked dashing as always in a fitted grey suit and his military decorations, but unsurprisingly, all eyes were on Meghan. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's $56 ASOS Dress Is Back in Stock in Time for Christmas," 17 Dec. 2018 Of course, not everyone dashes for a slice of divorce cake the day the judge signs the papers. Jessica Wakeman, Glamour, "10 Divorced Women on How They Spent Their First Single Night," 28 Nov. 2018 Instead, its grueling platforming challenges force you to combine wall clinging, double jumps, dashes, bouncing, and pinpoint timing. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Hollow Knight beats Metroid, Dark Souls at their own brutal game," 28 July 2018 Prince Harry has made his appearance for the royal wedding, and the 33-year-old is looking as dashing as ever. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Arrives at the Royal Wedding in His Uniform," 19 May 2018 The victim, who was not identified, falls to the ground as the attackers dash back to their Range Rover and speed away. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Bat-wielding men caught on camera in New York City sidewalk attack," 19 July 2018 Emma's character then dashes back to the table and jumps on top of it, eventually being escorted out by a couple of diner employees. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Twitter Resurfaces Clip of Emma Stone on "iCarly" as a Super Fan," 17 July 2018 Microsoft That latter was especially fun, as Ori can dash out of the sand dunes at the end too, propelling upwards to reach ledges that were just out of reach or shooting across gaps and then hopping to safety. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Ori and the Will of the Wisps hands-on: Recapturing that magic feeling," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Smith had just won gold and Carlos had taken bronze in a blazing 200-meter dash. Deneen L. Brown, The Seattle Times, "An iconic Olympics moment: Looking back at the Black Power salute that rocked the world in 1968," 16 Oct. 2018 The decathlon consists of the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 run, 110 hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw, and 1,500 run. Dearbea Walker, Philly.com, "Germantown Academy's Kyle Garland to compete in decathlon at under-20 world championships," 9 July 2018 Third team: Riep, 200-meter dash; 400-meter relay, freshman Abby Hoffman, junior Sydney Benning, LeCount and Riep. Melanie Laughman, Cincinnati.com, "Mohawk memories: A yearbook for McAuley High School athletics in 2017-2018," 6 July 2018 Down His Favorite Instagram Follows To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that Extra pop — with a dash of out-of-this-world silver — indeed. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Cardi B Wore Silver Hair and Sunset-Colored Makeup," 14 Nov. 2018 His digressive and frequently hilarious explorations of subjects like sumo wrestling, tigers in India, The X-Files, and Queen Elizabeth II recall the work of John Jeremiah Sullivan and the late David Foster Wallace, with a dash of Janet Malcolm. Vogue, "Looking for Something to Read? Here Are 4 New Books Vogue Editors Are Loving Right Now," 26 Oct. 2018 Liv looked prim and proper with a dash of edge in a sleek yet structural suit. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Eugenie & Jack Brooksbank's Celebrity Guests Needed a Nap After This Morning's Royal Wedding Ceremony," 12 Oct. 2018 But instead of disappearing in a few bites, this sultry mix of flavors is here to bless your brunette strands with a dash of rich auburn. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "The Chili Chocolate Hair-Color Trend Is the Prettiest Way for Brunettes to Go Red," 3 Oct. 2018 Coat pretzel rods with honey mixed with a dash of red food dye, and roll them in crushed peanuts. Mark Addison, Seventeen, "12 Genius Tips for Throwing a Spooky Halloween Party Your Friends Will Never Forget," 8 Aug. 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.

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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

Verb and Noun

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

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Statistics for dash

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dash

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

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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

History and Etymology for dash

dietary approaches to stop hypertension

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More from Merriam-Webster on dash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dash

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dash

Spanish Central: Translation of dash

Nglish: Translation of dash for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dash for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dash

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