\ ˈdash How to pronounce dash (audio) \
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

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

The first use of smiley faces, often composed of a colon, dash and close parenthesis, now called emoticons, was in the 1960s. Sophia Kunthara, SFChronicle.com, "Who needs words when you have emoji?," 6 Aug. 2019 Macmillan dashed it out during one long day back in 2011. Manuel Mendoza, Dallas News, "In 'Lungs,' a couple debate whether it's right to bring a child into our warming world," 23 July 2019 In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway’s doomed and dashing hero gets asked by his Spanish Civil War comrades whether our United States could be likewise infested by fascists. Colin Barrett, Harper's magazine, "“Just Keep Going North”," 5 July 2019 In a video captured of their brief red carpet walk, the two quickly dash past other celebs, leaving the paparazzi to yell out after them. 3. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "5 Adorable Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Moments from VMAs 2018," 21 Aug. 2018 One member voted for an interest rate hike while another, known from his dovish stance, gave up his call for a cut, dashing any lingering hopes that the central bank could still ease policy in coming months. Bloomberg.com, "India's RBI Lost Its Only Dove as Talk of Rate Hike Swirls," 21 Feb. 2018 However, news headlines last week seemed to dash hopes for Planet Nine. Quanta Magazine, "Planet Nine Is Put on Trial in Absentia," 27 June 2017 Differences remained between Washington and Tokyo over automobiles and agriculture, which dashed hopes for a breakthrough announcement during Abe's official visit. Reuters, Newsweek, "Japanese Prime Minister Offers 'Deep Repentance' for WWII, But Doesn't Apologize," 29 Apr. 2015 On July the Trump administration promulgated a rule that upends the United States’ system of dealing with asylum-seekers and could dash the hopes of those in Nuevo Laredo and thousands more. The Economist, "Trump builds a bureaucratic wall to keep out migrants," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Establishing a football player’s baseline in the 40-yard dash can be part of the project, and that’s often a hard truth. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: NFL 40 times overly inflate hopes — but ex-SDSU running back can help youth," 25 July 2019 The 6-foot-4, 239-pound defensive end is an Under Armour All-American and has been timed at 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Christy Cabrera Chirinos, sun-sentinel.com, "Four-star defensive end prospect Chantz Williams latest addition to Hurricanes’ 2020 recruiting class," 20 July 2019 Steiner won The Opening Finals Combine Challenge on Monday night, thanks in part to clocking 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash and having a 40-inch vertical leap. Josh Bean | Jbean@al.com, al.com, "9 quick takeaways from The Opening Finals recruiting showcase," 3 July 2019 The third-round draft pick from San Diego State is 6-5, 252 pounds with 4.67 speed in the 40-yard dash. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans upbeat about rookie tight end Kahale Warring," 26 June 2019 Detroit Lions rookie running back Ty Johnson, a sixth-round pick from Maryland, was supposedly hand-timed in the 40-yard dash in 4.26 seconds at his pro day. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions rookie running back Ty Johnson shows off speed," 6 June 2019 After barely getting any attention going into the combine, Savage became one of its breakout performers, helped by having one of the fastest times (4.36 seconds) in the 40-yard dash. Don Markus, baltimoresun.com, "With impressive senior year and NFL combine, Maryland's Darnell Savage Jr. has moved up draft boards," 19 Apr. 2019 In girls’ track, Wellesley’s Anna Jordahl-Henry won Athlete of the Year after setting a state record in the 200-meter dash with a time 24.31 seconds. Dan Shulman, BostonGlobe.com, "Athletes of the Year for track, golf, tennis, and volleyball," 5 July 2019 Ruth competed individually, placing 31st in the 200-meter dash with a 25.06. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Marshall relays shine at New Balance Nationals," 24 June 2019

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

Verb and Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dash

Dictionary Entries near dash








Statistics for dash

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce dash (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!