Definition of lave
: something that is left : residue
lave was our Word of the Day on 12/17/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of lave in a Sentence
the cold water from the stream gently laved her burned fingers
Did You Know?
Lave is a simple, monosyllabic word that magically makes the mundane act of washing poetic. Shakespeare used it in The Taming of the Shrew, when Gremio assured the father of his beloved Bianca that she would have "basins and ewers to lave her dainty hands." And in Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop, Nell "laved her hands and face, and cooled her feet before setting forth to walk again." The poetry of "lave" is also heard when describing water washing against the shore, as in our example sentence, or even the pouring of water: "He … laved a few cool drops upon his brow" (John Lockhart, Reginald Dalton). Before washing our hands of "lave," we'll tell you its etymology: it, as well as "lavatory," comes from Latin lavare, meaning "to wash."
Origin and Etymology of lave
Middle English, from Old English lafian, from Latin lavare
Seen and Heard
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