\ ˈdash How to pronounce dash (audio) \
dashed; dashing; dashes

Definition of dash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move with sudden speed dashed down the hallway
2 : smash waves dashing against the rocks

transitive verb

1 : to break by striking or knocking angrily dashed the bouquet of flowers against the table
2a : ruin, destroy The news dashed his hopes.
c : to make ashamed dashed by her scorn
3 : to complete, execute, or finish off hastily used with down or offdashed down a drinkdash off a letter… he dashed off the book in eight weeks …— Paul Fussell
4 : to knock, hurl, or thrust violently dashed water onto his face a boat that had been dashed against the rocks
5 : splash, spatter Her pants were dashed with mud.
6 : to affect by mixing in something different His delight was dashed with bitterness.
7 [euphemism] : damn entry 1 sense 4 Dash it all!



Definition of dash (Entry 2 of 2)

1a grammar : a punctuation mark — that is used especially to indicate a break in the thought or structure of a sentence
b : a stroke of a pen
2 : a small usually distinctive addition a dash of salt a dash of humor
3a : a sudden onset, rush, or attempt make a dash for shelter
b sports : a short fast race won the 100-meter dash
4 : animation in style and action the verve and dash of her personal writings
5 automotive vehicles : dashboard sense 2 Put the map on the dash.
6 : a long click or buzz forming a letter or part of a letter (as in Morse code) a combination of dots and dashes
7 : flashy display really cuts a dash in his new suit
8a(1) : a sudden burst or splash a dash of rain
(2) : the sound produced by such a burst
b archaic : blow

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Examples of dash in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 For us, watching soccer together offers an opportunity not only to shriek and cuss and, very occasionally, dash a fist against a wall, but also to pool our emotions as father and son. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "All Hail the Return of TV Sports," 17 June 2020 That being said, there is no reason why second-day hair—or gasp, third-day hair—can’t look perfectly fine and coiffed enough to dash into the grocery store, sans ponytail. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "I'm Bringing Back My Grandmother's Not-So-Cute Shower Cap—Because It Actually Works," 9 June 2020 Any hopes for the future were dashed when Fink was told by their insurance broker in March that his Hanover Insurance policy excluded coverage for viruses. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "Loved by generations, San Francisco’s Toy Boat Dessert Café for sale," 4 June 2020 Those hopes were dashed when Spain’s government this month unexpectedly imposed a 14-day quarantine for arriving passengers. The Economist, "Empty beaches Will tourists come to sunny Spain this year?," 23 May 2020 Their exultant high had been cruelly dashed in a crazy period of just six minutes. Don Riddell, CNN, "Liverpool vs. AC Milan: 'Something unreal unhappened' in 2005 Champions League final," 22 May 2020 The case of a 66-year-old woman with no recent travel history dashed hopes that the city had successfully contained the virus after nearly four months of school closures and social distancing measures. Blake Schmidt, Bloomberg.com, "Hong Kong Returnees Say Quarantine Unfairly Targets South Africa," 19 May 2020 My hopes of taking a grand post-grad trip along Amtrak’s West Coast route are dashed. Sarah Verschoor, USA Today, "Coronavirus stole our 2020 college graduation. We made our own.," 15 May 2020 Earnings from one of its largest suppliers should dash hopes for a quick recovery. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Table for None: Sysco Paints Dire Picture for Restaurants," 5 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Authorities released the dash cam video footage of Bland's arrest a week after the original traffic stop. Shacamree Gowdy, Houston Chronicle, "It's been five years since Sandra Bland was found hanging in her Texas jail cell," 13 July 2020 Craig played body camera and dash-cam video of the confrontation during a news conference Friday. NBC News, "Eight arrested after Detroit police shooting protest," 11 July 2020 Lately there has been a dash of something new at TikTok: politics. Georgia Wells, WSJ, "TikTok, Once an Oasis of Inoffensive Fun, Ventures Warily Into Politics," 8 July 2020 There may not be the typical Opening Day fanfare, especially without fans attending games at the start of the season, but the starting line is finally set for a mad dash of a season. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati Reds will begin the 2020 season on July 24 at home against the Detroit Tigers," 6 July 2020 The Rangers have had three months to consider all the possible ways to approach a dash of a season. Dallas News, "5 key issues Rangers need to address in spring training 2.0," 25 June 2020 Brooks was questioned by the officers for more than 25 minutes, body and dash-camera video shows. NBC News, "'We really should not be here today,' Rev. Bernice King says at funeral of Rayshard Brooks," 23 June 2020 Simple, white bedding has been given a dash of flair with embroidery detailing and initials. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, "This custom 1-bed luxury condo in Louisville features elegant touches in open, airy space," 19 June 2020 Add a cup of Epsom salt, a dash of cinnamon, rose petals, and charge a rose quartz crystal under the moon to absorb its potency. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Sunday’s “Ring Of Fire” Solar Eclipse Brings Positive Change," 19 June 2020

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 8b

History and Etymology for dash

Verb and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for dash

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dash

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dash. Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for dash


How to pronounce dash (audio)

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)


\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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