\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

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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

Owens posted video last month on his Instagram account that appears to show two stopwatch operators capturing the 44-year-old running 40-yard dashes in 4.43 and 4.44 seconds. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Pro Football Hall of Fame won't introduce Terrell Owens at Gold Jacket Dinner or induction," 12 July 2018 The youthful president-elect, Bill Clinton, looking dashing in his tux, glided onto the stage for a gala on the eve of his inauguration, joined by his wife and daughter, and then Al and Tipper Gore. Neil Swidey, BostonGlobe.com, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 2018 In the end, the US’s effort to dash the WHO resolution encouraging breastfeeding was largely unsuccessful. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US puts fierce squeeze on breastfeeding policy, shocking health officials," 9 July 2018 The other absorbing picture is not much more than an oil sketch, perhaps dashed off on site around 1884 for later elaboration in the artist’s studio. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Grafton Tyler Brown's California scenes at Pasadena museum's final show," 30 June 2018 Neither the body-camera video nor dash-camera images have been made public. Paula Rogo, Essence.com, "Georgia Police Officer Charged For Fatally Shooting Fleeing Black Man," 29 June 2018 His critics describe him as temperamental, thin-skinned, relentless and prone to dashing off angry late-night texts. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Temperamental? Thin-Skinned? Republican Tim Herbst Says He's 'Authentic'," 28 June 2018 Mariel fled, dashing into the woods toward a gas station about a half-mile away. Max Londberg, kansascity, "KC-area bouncers wrongly imprisoned women, suit says. They settle for $1 million," 28 June 2018 Starting with Hinchcliffe, the early season contender had his championship hopes dashed by missing the double-points race. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar midseason review, part II: What's gone wrong," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mason also found the end zone twice, including on a 37-yard dash that gave Auburn a late lead before FSU pulled ahead for good. Ben Ladner, SI.com, "The 10 Best National Championship Game Performances of the BCS Era," 13 July 2018 After the new battery was installed, I was informed that the four-wheel-drive light on the dash was constantly on, and that the mechanic could not determine the cause. Ray Magliozzi, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Improperly towing AWD vehicle can cause many problems," 13 July 2018 Then-acting athletic director Damon Evans — who was elevated to a permanent position June 25 — said McNair had difficulty recovering after completing 10, 110-yard dashes. Don Markus, baltimoresun.com, "DJ Durkin was at workout where Jordan McNair was carted off, according to summary released by Maryland," 12 July 2018 Jones outran Truex in a two-lap overtime dash to join the list of Cup winners. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "NASCAR Cup Series playoff hopefuls look to break through at Kentucky Speedway," 12 July 2018 In the text, Schnitzler indicated each of the blackouts with five simple dashes. Max Maller, Chicago Reader, "Fucking Men struggles with onstage intimacy realness," 11 July 2018 When activated, Morse code fills the keyboard area with two large dot and dash icons. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Google’s Gboard keyboard now lets you communicate through Morse code on both Android and iOS," 11 July 2018 Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese star, took swigs from his bottle and expelled the drink in dots and dashes in a kind of aquatic Morse code. New York Times, "That Spitting Thing at the World Cup? It’s Probably ‘Carb Rinsing’," 11 July 2018 In sharp contrast to the slap-dash political image the country broadcasts to the globe, England’s performances in this year’s World Cup have been uncharacteristically composed, clinical and tactically astute. Sean Williams, The New Republic, "England’s World Cup Team: the Anti-Brexit," 10 July 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


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


see dash entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near dash








Statistics for dash

Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

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



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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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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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