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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Symptoms of meningococcal bloodstream infections include fever and chills, fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, rapid breathing, diarrhea and in later stages, a dark purple rash. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, 29 Mar. 2024 Other symptoms include serious headaches, nausea, vomiting, rash and body pain. Nicole Acevedo, NBC News, 28 Mar. 2024 Measles usually begins when the infected develops a fever, cough, runny nose and pink eye for about two to four days before rash onset, according to the CDC. Jonathan Limehouse, The Courier-Journal, 26 Mar. 2024 Caused by bacteria coming into contact with open wounds, staph can result in skin rashes and swelling, and can even be deadly if not treated, according to the Mayo Clinic. Charlotte Phillipp, Peoplemag, 18 Mar. 2024 It can be used to reduce inflammation, acne, infections and rashes and repair sensitive skin. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 15 Mar. 2024 Measles is an airborne disease characterized by a high fever, a cough and a rash. Cheryl Vari, The Enquirer, 15 Mar. 2024 The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 21 days after exposure and include a high fever, cough, runny nose, blotchy rash, feeling run-down or achy and red, watery eyes. The Arizona Republic, 12 Mar. 2024 There are two different types of meningitis rashes. Sarah Lemire, Health, 19 Mar. 2024
Adjective
But adults are less likely to develop the telltale skin rash and blisters that children with the disease develop, likely because of partial immunity from being infected as a child. Daryl Austin, USA TODAY, 28 Mar. 2024 Given the possibility that a rash decision or escalatory act by one of their clients could trigger a regional war, the patrons should be keen to take steps that would reduce the risk of such a scenario. Joost Hiltermann, Foreign Affairs, 28 Mar. 2024 To prevent an Apple Watch rash, consider following these recommendations: Wear the watch loosely enough to allow air circulation and minimize friction against the skin. Alyssa Hui, Verywell Health, 20 Feb. 2024 For surfers, the material provides rash guard-style protection, and it's made with a breathable fabric that wicks away moisture and is quick-drying. Becca Blond, Travel + Leisure, 20 Feb. 2024 Common symptoms include joint pain, extreme fatigue, joint pain or a butterfly rash. Melissa Rudy, Fox News, 14 Feb. 2024 But these flying pests can also carry the West Nile virus, a disease that can cause fever, rash and muscle aches. Caralin Nunes, The Arizona Republic, 16 Mar. 2024 Another parent said their child developed a skin rash, which is a common side effect of melatonin for children under 4, according to police. Jake Allen, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Feb. 2024 Libra September 23 – October 22 Feeling anxious about your finances could tempt you to make a last-minute, rash decision. Tarot.com, Baltimore Sun, 3 Feb. 2024
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

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 16 Apr. 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!