hand·​wash·​ing ˈhand-ˌwȯ-shiŋ How to pronounce handwashing (audio)
variants or hand-washing
: the act or activity of washing one's hands
Some 80 percent of your exposure to germs occurs through touch, making proper handwashing key to protecting yourself.Andrew Weil, Self Healing, December 2004
: the act or activity or washing something by hand rather than by using a machine
delicate fabrics that require hand-washing
ˈhand-ˌwȯsh How to pronounce handwashing (audio)
transitive verb
hand-washed; hand-washing; hand-washes
… cotton that he said had to be hand-washed in lukewarm water … John Updike, "Beautiful Husbands" in Trust Me, 1987

Word History

First Known Use

1793, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of handwashing was in 1793

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Dictionary Entries Near handwashing

Cite this Entry

“Handwashing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handwashing. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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