1

lave

noun \ ˈlāv \

Definition of lave

chiefly dialectal
:something that is left :residue

lave was our Word of the Day on 12/17/2016. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of lave

Middle English (northern dialect), from Old English lāf; akin to Old English belīfan to remain — more at leave

Other Dialect Terms


2

lave

verb

Definition of lave

laved; laving
transitive verb
1 a :wash, bathe
b :to flow along or against
2 :pour
intransitive verb
archaic :to wash oneself :bathe

Examples of lave in a Sentence

  1. 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

lave Synonyms

Synonyms
bathe, lap, wash, lip, splash
Related Words
bubble, gurgle, plash, ripple, slosh

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