rash

1 of 3

noun

1
: an eruption on the body
2
: a large number of instances in a short period
a rash of complaints

rash

2 of 3

adjective

1
: marked by or proceeding from undue haste or lack of deliberation or caution
a rash promise
2
obsolete : quickly effective
rashly adverb
rashness noun

rash

3 of 3

adverb

archaic
: in a rash manner

Did you know?

Is it possible that the origins of the noun rash (meaning “an eruption on the body,” as in “a skin rash”) and the adjective rash (meaning “overly hasty”) are the same? Not so fast! Like many homonyms—“two or more words spelled and pronounced alike but different in meaning”—the two rashes have distinct sources. The noun rash, which first appeared in English in the late 17th century, probably comes ultimately from the Latin verb rādere, meaning “to scrape, scratch, shave.” The adjective rash appears to be about two centuries older, and comes from a Middle English word meaning “active, quick, eager.”

Choose the Right Synonym for rash

adventurous, venturesome, daring, daredevil, rash, reckless, foolhardy mean exposing oneself to danger more than required by good sense.

adventurous implies a willingness to accept risks but not necessarily imprudence.

adventurous pioneers

venturesome implies a jaunty eagerness for perilous undertakings.

venturesome stunt pilots

daring implies fearlessness in courting danger.

daring mountain climbers

daredevil stresses ostentation in daring.

daredevil motorcyclists

rash suggests imprudence and lack of forethought.

a rash decision

reckless implies heedlessness of probable consequences.

a reckless driver

foolhardy suggests a recklessness that is inconsistent with good sense.

the foolhardy sailor ventured into the storm

Examples of rash in a Sentence

Noun The baby has a skin rash. The doctor said she developed the rash because of the medicine. I break out in a rash if I eat shellfish. Symptoms of the disease include rash and fever. There has been a rash of robberies in the city this summer. Adjective Their rash actions resulted in a serious accident that could have killed someone. Don't be rash about this decision. Take your time. It was rash of you to make that promise. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The Ravens had a rash of injuries in the secondary, but players such as safety Geno Stone and cornerback Arthur Maulet stepped up. Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun, 31 Jan. 2024 Critics have blamed Prop 47 and other such measures for a rash in retail thefts. Gabriel Greschler, The Mercury News, 31 Jan. 2024 After 3 or 5 days, a rash begins with flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline. Erin Prater, Fortune Well, 27 Jan. 2024 Symptoms can also include a fever, a rash that moves out past the bump, swollen lymph nodes, joint or muscle pain, and a general feeling of being sick and rundown. Korin Miller, SELF, 15 Feb. 2024 The early symptoms of measles, which may occur days before a rash appears, include fever, a runny nose, cough and red eyes. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Feb. 2024 The hospital’s director, Wissam Bakr, showed a visiting reporter the facility’s gates, where bullets from nearby clashes had left a rash of divots in the concrete walls. Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2024 Symptoms appear 7-14 days following contact with the virus, and the rash appears 3-5 days after the first symptoms. David Chiu, Peoplemag, 16 Jan. 2024 The suspension comes after a rash of fatal train strikes in the region, with four people hit and killed on the coastal train tracks in the span of five days this month. Emily Alvarenga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Jan. 2024
Adjective
Symptoms can include a rash, swollen lymph nodes and joint or muscle pain. CBS News, 13 Feb. 2024 Key Takeaways Measles is a highly contagious viral respiratory illness that can cause symptoms of fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Alyssa Hui, Verywell Health, 2 Feb. 2024 Measles, a very contagious viral illness characterized by a high fever, rash, cough, runny nose and pinkeye, hasn’t been endemic in the U.S. in more than 20 years. Angela Roberts, Baltimore Sun, 31 Jan. 2024 Even then, most people – including some doctors – will not recognize a measles rash. Amanda Musa, CNN, 23 Jan. 2024 Carefully Choose Your Makeup Use caution when applying makeup on an existing facial eczema rash, which may worsen irritation. Anthea Levi, Health, 14 Nov. 2023 Symptoms usually appear within one to two weeks after infection and can include a fever, cough, runny nose, rash, and red watery eyes or pinkeye. Gina Martinez, CBS News, 15 Jan. 2024 Our hero will eventually smile, and cry a single tear while listening karaoke — because yes, this is still an idiosyncratic indie dramedy — and do something rash that earns her an enemy. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 1 Sep. 2023 Jordan Essex is not as convincing as Bobby, but Jared H. Graham is persuasively rash as Young Dave. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2023
Adverb
Whatever is causing the left-hander to pitch terribly away from home this season, the Giants need to address this road rash sooner rather than later. Andrew Baggarly, The Mercury News, 2 May 2017 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

probably borrowed from 17th-century French rache, rasche, going back to Middle French raiche "tinea," noun derivative of racher "to chisel, groove (metal)" (probably also "to scrape, scratch," senses attested in Romance cognates), going back to Vulgar Latin *rāsicāre, verb derivative from Latin rās-, participial and nominal stem of rādere "to scrape, scratch, shave" — more at rase

Adverb

Middle English (northern dialect) rasch quickly; akin to Old High German rasc fast

First Known Use

Noun

1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rash was in the 15th century

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near rash

Cite this Entry

“Rash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rash. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

rash

1 of 2 adjective
: marked by or coming from being too hasty in speech or action or in making decisions
a rash promise
rashly adverb
rashness noun

rash

2 of 2 noun
1
: a breaking out of the skin with red spots
2
: many instances in a short time
a rash of fires

Medical Definition

rash

noun
: an eruption on the body typically with little or no elevation above the surface

More from Merriam-Webster on rash

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!