\ 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

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who gave a shout out to the Virgin project at Monday morning’s State of the City address, dashed to the airport for the groundbreaking ceremony. Lisa Maria Garza, orlandosentinel.com, "Virgin Trains holds groundbreaking ceremony at Orlando airport for express service to South Florida," 24 June 2019 Kingston had experienced having her own dreams dashed as a result of an injury. Earl Hodges, nola.com, "Victior Wylie explores new passion thanks to YMCA," 13 June 2019 The next day, any hopes that the water was miraculously clean were pretty much dashed. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Sampling initiative in Baltimore's Inner Harbor aims to answer the question, 'How's the water, hon?'," 25 June 2019 Boston’s hopes of acquiring an Anthony Davis-type talent may be dashed in the short-term, but after catching my breath from laughing, the truth is this summer hasn’t been a complete and total disaster from the Celtics. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "The Celtics Need to Figure Out Their Timeline, Then Focus on Title Aspirations," 21 June 2019 Dreams of reviving the mythic festival with a 2019 line-up that included The Strokes, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Chemical Brothers and King Crimson have now been dashed. Judy Cantor-navas, Billboard, "Doctor Music Festival Canceled After Move From Mountain Pastures to Barcelona Racetrack," 14 June 2019 The Henshaws are among many whose hopes to visit Cuba on cruises were dashed by the new rules that went into effect Tuesday. NBC News, "Cuba travel restrictions leave some American travelers in limbo," 8 June 2019 Still, longtime viewers of both franchises were not amused that their dreams were dashed. Megan Stein, Country Living, "NCIS: LA Gets Backlash for 'Cruel' Revelation About JAG's Mac and Harm," 20 May 2019 The children rush through, stopping to touch a lamassu or another statue and then dash on. Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, "In Iraq Museum, There Are Things ‘That Are Nowhere Else in the World’," 9 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

During the testing phase of the camp, Sewell ran a 4.75 40-yard dash, posted a 4.13 shuttle time, jumped 35.6 inches in the vertical leap and threw the power ball 47.5 feet. oregonlive.com, "Noah Sewell, key Oregon Ducks LB target, recognized for stellar athletic testing numbers," 9 July 2019 Morris falls into the category of a David Ojabo, a big defensive end prospect who runs a 4.75 40-yard dash. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football: DL Mike Morris versatile enough to impact few spots," 9 July 2019 At 6-4, 257 pounds, McKinney has run the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds and posted a 40 1/2 inch vertical leap. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans: Pro Bowl LB Benardrick McKinney's recognition overdue," 5 July 2019 Williams showed his elite athleticism during the spring, running the 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds, with a 4.09 shuttle time (overall agility, speed and lateral quickness) and a vertical jump of almost 40 inches. Shotgun Spratling, latimes.com, "St. John Bosco’s Kourt Williams II says leaving California is best for his football future," 1 July 2019 Imagine some of the fastest NFL players racing each other side-by-side in a bracket-format speed competition, trying to run the fastest 40-yard dash. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, "NFL speed competition 40 Yards of Gold, hosted by Chad Johnson, features $1 million prize at BB&T Center," 28 June 2019 The first guy who popped in his mind after Ringo's time was linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds during the 2014 NFL scouting combine. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Saguaro DB Kelee Ringo blazes to 4.35-second laser-timed 40 at Rivals 5-Star Challenge," 25 June 2019 And how about a dash of philosophical introspection? Isaac Feldberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Spend 12 hours with Keanu Reeves, the internet’s boyfriend, this weekend," 27 June 2019 But the most interesting and soul-satisfying dish is the broken rice porridge ($9), with surprise of chicken meatballs hidden inside, ginger, scallions, cured egg yolk shavings and a dash of spicy chili oil. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: The Florence takes unconventional plunge into dining scene," 27 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

13 Jul 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).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

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!