\ 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 off dashed 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 The law was signed by Putin last week, and combined with the court ruling will dash the hopes of several Navalny associates who have declared their intention to run for parliament. Fox News, 10 June 2021 Michael Barrios halved the lead for Colorado (3-2-1) on a breakaway five minutes into the second half, splitting two defenders to dash into the penalty area and tap home a through ball from Diego Rubio. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 22 May 2021 The walls are filled with doors to dash through and windows to duck under. Rob Wieland, Forbes, 20 May 2021 Another defeat could dash his hopes to win a high-profile election beyond 2022, when the Senate seat held by Cruz will be up again. Dallas News, 17 May 2021 And unlike past times when Roe teetered in the balance, this is not a 5-4 court with the potential to suddenly dash the hopes of Republicans and religious conservatives. Joan Biskupic, CNN, 17 May 2021 The specifics will dash any vision that uninitiated readers might have of reaching the world’s highest peak — giving way to the disorientation and desperation of such a conquest, and the perseverance of human nature. New York Times, 4 May 2021 While your niece is on the phone with you, her mother may be getting a quick chance to wash a dish or dash off an email. Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2021 Romney, who served as the CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, said pulling out of the event would only dash the dreams and efforts of the American athletes. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sir David Attenborough has long focused mainly on the beauties and mysteries of nature rather than its destruction, conveying his own genuine wonderment with a dash of wry wit to entice viewers to love and conserve the planet. Andrea Marks, Rolling Stone, 7 June 2021 The Goodtime Hotel is all about relaxed escapism, with a dash of hedonism thrown in for good measure. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, 17 May 2021 Tupac love aside, Hoodlum said his musical influences lean more toward Southern rappers such as Lil Wayne and Houston’s Scarface and Z-Ro, with a dash of R&B standouts like Erykah Badu and Curtis Mayfield. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, 10 May 2021 Park Avenue princess with a dash of '60s-era fashion rebellion (see: Lee Radziwill, who else?). Colleen Sheehan, Town & Country, 5 May 2021 Jibo is Williams’ softer side, with a dash of gamer competitiveness and wry humor. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 28 Apr. 2021 Next Top Model in a NutriBullet, with a dash of Vanderpump Rules. Jessica M. Goldstein, Marie Claire, 19 Apr. 2021 Conversely, Baltimore’s regional food is a source of pride sprinkled with a dash of defensiveness. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, 15 Apr. 2021 Our choice today is a regular roast sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon. Ed Silverman, STAT, 14 Apr. 2021

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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Learn More About dash

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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dash. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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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 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


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