wash

verb
\ ˈwȯsh How to pronounce wash (audio) , ˈwäsh, chiefly Midland also ˈwȯrsh How to pronounce wash (audio) or ˈwärsh How to pronounce wash (audio) \
washed; washing; washes

Definition of wash

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to cleanse by or as if by the action of liquid (such as water)
b : to remove (something, such as dirt) by rubbing or drenching with liquid
2 : to cleanse (fur) by licking or by rubbing with a paw moistened with saliva
3a : to flush or moisten (a bodily part or injury) with a liquid
b(1) : to wet thoroughly : drench
(2) : to overspread with light : suffuse
c : to pass a liquid (such as water) over or through especially so as to carry off material from the surface or interior
4 : to flow along or dash or overflow against waves washing the shore
5 : to move, carry, or deposit by or as if by the force of water in motion houses washed away by the flood
6a : to subject (something, such as crushed ore) to the action of water to separate valuable material
b : to separate (particles) from a substance (such as ore) by agitation with or in water
c(1) : to pass through a bath to carry off impurities or soluble components
(2) : to pass (a gas or gaseous mixture) through or over a liquid to purify it especially by removing soluble components
7a : to cover or daub lightly with or as if with an application of a thin liquid (such as whitewash or varnish)
b : to depict or paint by a broad sweep of thin color with a brush
8 : to cause to swirl washing coffee around in his cup
9 : launder sense 3 how the mob washes its money through corrupt bankers— Vincent Teresa

intransitive verb

1 : to wash oneself or a part of one's body
2 : to become worn away by the action of water
3 : to clean something by rubbing or dipping in water
4a : to become carried along on water : drift cakes of ice washing along
b : to pour, sweep, or flow in a stream or current waves of pioneers washing westward— Green Peyton
5 : to serve as a cleansing agent this soap washes thoroughly
6a : to undergo laundering this dress doesn't wash well
b(1) : to undergo testing successfully : work sense 3 an interesting theory, but it just won't wash
(2) : to gain acceptance : inspire belief the story didn't wash with me
wash one's hands of
: to disclaim interest in, responsibility for, or further connection with

wash

noun

Definition of wash (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : a piece of ground washed by the sea or river
b : bog, marsh
c(1) : a shallow body of water
(2) : a shallow creek
d Western US : the dry bed of a stream

called also dry wash

2a : the act or process or an instance of washing or being washed
b : articles to be washed, being washed, or having been washed
3 : the surging action or sound of waves also : something resembling this action or sound the warm wash of applause that followed her … introduction — John Updike
4a : worthless especially liquid waste : refuse
b : an insipid beverage
c : vapid writing or speech
5a : a sweep or splash especially of color made by or as if by a long stroke of a brush in the gray wash of early morning
b : a thin coat of paint (such as watercolor)
c : a thin liquid used for coating a surface (such as a wall)
6 : lotion
7 : loose or eroded surface material of the earth (such as rock debris) transported and deposited by running water
b : a disturbance in a fluid (such as water or the air) produced by the passage of an airfoil or propeller
9 : a situation in which losses and gains or advantages and disadvantages balance each other

Definition of wash (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : involving essentially simultaneous purchase and sale of the same security spurious market activity resulting from wash trading
2 : washable wash fabric

Definition of Wash (Entry 4 of 4)

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Synonyms for wash

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of wash in a Sentence

Verb We have to wash the dishes. Did you wash your hands? The flooding washed sand and silt all over the area. The pollution washes into rivers from nearby factories. Water washed over the deck of the ship. Waves washed up onto the beach. Noun My jeans are in the wash. We could hear the wash of the waves against the rocks. The wash from speedboats is dangerous for swimmers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The conspiratorial suggestions popular with more hyperbolic sectors of the internet commentariat do not wash. The Economist, "A YouTube mystery Google’s removal of anti-Beijing comments raises political eyebrows," 30 May 2020 His employees are required to bring their own masks and to wash them between shifts. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "‘We’re not waiting anymore’: Haystack Burgers now open in Lakewood," 18 May 2020 Just make sure to pair the sugary treat with plenty of milk to wash it down. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Disney Halloween Recipes Are Here to Make This Summer More Bearable," 16 May 2020 Still, there are various general precautions to take: keep your distance when in public; stay home if sick; wash your hands, and keep careful track of your contacts. Mary Hui, Quartz, "“Seated, separated, single-server”: New Zealand details its vision for post-lockdown living," 7 May 2020 The small fiberglass camper is intended as an entry point to the upscale camping lifestyle, and its working kitchenette with running water allows medical workers to properly wash their hands between patients. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "Donated RVs House Front-Line Medical Staff in Coronavirus Pandemic," 24 Apr. 2020 The electoral body’s only protective measures so far have included placing a bucket of water at each voting center so every person can wash their hands. Rabson Kondowe, Quartz Africa, "Malawi’s president has taken a pay cut for a coronavirus fight even as an election do-over looms," 6 Apr. 2020 Swimming pools can be visited as long as people wash their hands before entering. Catherine Marfin, Dallas News, "A guide to Dallas County’s new color-coded coronavirus recommendations," 13 May 2020 Remove the filter and wash it with dish soap and hot water. Southern Living, "Yes, You Really Need to Clean Your Dishwasher," 12 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Have porous concrete sealed and wash with a phosphate-free detergent. oregonlive, "Spring cleaning: Easy fixes before heading back to work," 28 May 2020 The complex will include a clubroom, co-working space, fitness center and yoga room, outdoor pool, outdoor grilling and lounge areas, fire pit, bocce ball court, dog wash and dog park. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "Luxury apartments planned for site at I-459, U.S. 280," 26 May 2020 The procedure includes several disinfections, vacuuming, vehicle inspection, and washes. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "Car Rental Companies Step up Their Cleaning Protocols Ahead of Summer Travel (Video)," 18 May 2020 It is found in many consumer products — such as skin antiseptics, wound wash sprays, cold sore treatments, hand sanitizers and as a preservative in eye, ear and nasal drops. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Ann Arbor company says its nasal antiseptic can kill coronavirus," 12 May 2020 The pair were hoisted from 140 feet above so the helicopter’s rotor wash didn’t jostle their boat, according to Guard officials. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, "Stranded Napaimute couple rescued from flooded Kuskokwim River waters," 2 May 2020 An affordable makeup remover/face wash hybrid, Garnier’s micellar water also leaves skins measurably soft, thanks to rose water and glycerin. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, "Good Housekeeping's 2020 Beauty Awards," 28 Apr. 2020 That’s the idea behind the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash that come in tiny cubes, an eco-friendly replacement for travel toiletries in the single-use plastic mini-bottles set to be banned in California hotels starting in 2023. Rebecca Hale, National Geographic, "Antlers and cancer are connected—and other breakthroughs," 23 Apr. 2020 There are lots of options available from large, tarp-type backstops made of heavy-duty nylon netting that suspend like a wash line to oversized foam backstops that will stop errant shots cold. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Perfect Targets for Your Home Archery Range," 3 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tybee Tea CocktailMakes about 1 gallon 1 large bunch fresh mint 1 cup sugar 2 quarts James T's Secret Iced Tea (recipe follows) 2 quarts lemonade Bourbon Lemon slices for serving Wash mint. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Beach cocktail: Tybee Tea Cocktail recipe," 28 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wash.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wash

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wash

Verb

Middle English, from Old English wascan; akin to Old High German waskan to wash and perhaps to Old English wæter water

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Time Traveler for wash

Time Traveler

The first known use of wash was before the 12th century

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Statistics for wash

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wash. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for wash

wash

noun

Financial Definition of wash

What It Is

A wash occurs when two actions cancel each other out (such as a gain and an equal loss), effectively creating a break-even situation.

How It Works

Let's assume XYZ Company sells $1,000 worth of products. If these products cost XYZ Company $1,000 to manufacture, the transaction is considered a wash. Likewise, if an investor makes a $1,000 profit on an investment but loses $1,000 on another investment during the same time, the result is considered a wash.

Why It Matters

Obviously, profit motivates most companies to minimize wash transactions. However, wash transactions may have tax benefits, most of which are illegal. Investors should be aware of specific tax rules and prohibitions regarding wash transactions (see Wash Sale).

Source: Investing Answers

wash

verb
How to pronounce Wash (audio) How to pronounce Wash (audio) How to pronounce Wash (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to clean (something) with water and usually soap
: to carry (something) by the movement of water
: to be carried by the movement of water

wash

noun

English Language Learners Definition of wash (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of cleaning something by using water and soap : an act of washing something
: a group of clothes, towels, sheets, etc., that are being washed or that are going to be washed
: the movement of water especially : the waves made in the water after a moving boat passes by

wash

verb
\ ˈwȯsh How to pronounce wash (audio) , ˈwäsh \
washed; washing

Kids Definition of wash

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to cleanse with water and usually a cleaning agent (as soap) Wash your hands and face.
2 : to wet completely with liquid The flowers were washed with raindrops.
3 : to flow along or overflow against Waves wash up on the shore.
4 : to remove or carry away by the action of water Wash the mud off the car. She was washed overboard.
5 : to stand being cleansed without injury Linen washes well.

wash

noun

Kids Definition of wash (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : articles (as clothes, sheets, and towels) in the laundry
2 : an act or instance of cleansing or of being cleansed We gave the car a good wash.
3 : the flow, sound, or action of water
4 : a backward flow of water (as made by the motion of a boat)
5 : material carried or set down by water

Kids Definition of Wash.

Washington

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\ ˈwȯsh How to pronounce wash (audio) , ˈwäsh How to pronounce wash (audio) \

Medical Definition of wash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to cleanse by or as if by the action of liquid (as water)
2 : to flush or moisten (a bodily part or injury) with a liquid wash the wound with saline solution
3 : to pass through a liquid to carry off impurities or soluble components

intransitive verb

1 : to wash oneself or a part of one's body
2 : to clean something by rubbing or dipping in water

wash

noun

Medical Definition of wash (Entry 2 of 2)

: a liquid medicinal preparation used especially for cleansing or antisepsis — see eyewash, mouthwash

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More from Merriam-Webster on wash

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wash

Spanish Central: Translation of wash

Nglish: Translation of wash for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wash for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wash

Comments on wash

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