la·​vage lə-ˈväzh How to pronounce lavage (audio)
 British usually  ˈla-vij
: washing
especially : the therapeutic washing out of an organ or part

Examples of lavage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ductal lavage flushes out cells from the breast’s milk ducts, where breast cancer often originates, so that they may be analyzed for abnormalities that suggest an elevated risk of the disease. Margalit Fox, New York Times, 3 July 2023 Postoperative care was reduced to nasal lavage with topical steroids for 3 to 6 weeks. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 9 Jan. 2017 Endoscopic view of one day after 3 L of cola lavage. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 18 Oct. 2013 Jimenez was also able to work remotely from Hotel Influenza, taking meetings in between the occasional blood draw and nasal lavage. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 24 May 2022 Gastric lavage — Otherwise known as stomach pumping. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 May 2022 Doctors collected samples of fluid from her lungs using what's known as a bronchoalveolar lavage, and tested that fluid for SARS-CoV-2. Kristen Jordan Shamus, USA TODAY, 24 Feb. 2021 For the study, health investigators collected bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples—that is fluid flushed into and then recollected from the lung through a tube inserted into the mouth or nose. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 8 Nov. 2019 To catch it early, Dr. Shohreh Shahabi, chief of gynecologic oncology at Northwestern Medicine, is experimenting with a procedure known as uterine lavage. Claire Altschuler,, 21 May 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lavage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, from Middle French, from laver to wash, from Latin lavare

First Known Use

circa 1895, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lavage was circa 1895

Dictionary Entries Near lavage

Cite this Entry

“Lavage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 noun
lə-ˈväzh, British usually ˈlav-ij
: the act or action of washing
especially : the therapeutic washing out of an organ or part
gastric lavage


2 of 2 transitive verb
lavaged; lavaging
: to wash or wash out therapeutically
lavaged the bladder with water
the incisions were lavaged with sterile saline
: to perform lavage on
she was intubated, lavaged, and received activated charcoalR. Rasmussen & P. E. McKinney

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