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 While treating myself to a wagyu beef burger and fries for lunch one afternoon, an employee at Alba restaurant knew that a classic coke was the perfect thing to wash it down and offered to pour me one when my food arrived. Adam Schubak, Town & Country, "Why The St. Regis Maldives Is a True Retreat from Everyday Life," 11 Jan. 2020 The exterior of my hermitage was washed the color of runny egg yolk. Jeff Sharlet, Harpers Magazine, "December 2019," 25 Nov. 2019 Then wash it down with some Kettle Brewed Iced Tea — handmade and sweetened to perfection. orlandosentinel.com, "2019 Orlando Sentinel Best Bets: Dining & Restaurants winners," 5 Oct. 2019 Unfortunately, despite its thrilling subject matter and a breathtakingly immersive video design (Tara Knight) that washes over the stage with heat and light, Francis Turnly’s drama is the antithesis of visceral. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘The Great Wave’ barely makes a ripple at Berkeley Rep," 21 Sep. 2019 Most experts agree: To protect yourself wash your hands and avoid touching your face. Clifford Krauss, New York Times, "Coronavirus Adds to Pressure for U.S. Oil Industry," 5 Feb. 2020 His first job was washing dishes at the former Swiss Chalet restaurant on the North Side. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "East Side grocer-turned-restaurateur presides over a favorite San Antonio eatery," 3 Feb. 2020 Second, wash your hands frequently because doing so removes virus from your hands. Popular Science, "A small coronavirus breakthrough could aid in the search for a vaccine," 1 Feb. 2020 People should wash their hands, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands, and avoid people who are sick. oregonlive, "No, not like the beer: As coronavirus spreads, people mistakenly think it’s related to the beverage," 29 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Parsons applied stripes of glitter across models' eyes that twinkled under the lights, as well as brow-high shadow in washes of orange, blue and violet. Kristen Bateman, Allure, "Inside (and Backstage) at Gaultier’s Last Runway Show," 24 Jan. 2020 Signature dish: The crispy little rice cup starter that collapses on the tongue with a wash of scallops, coconut cream and herbs. Michael Russell | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Meet Portland’s restaurants of the decade," 29 Dec. 2019 This also sharply limits its value as an exfiltration tool, since a big wash of outbound traffic on an arbitrary UDP port will stick out like a sore thumb to any network analysis tools, even if the firewall allows it. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Nebula VPN routes between hosts privately, flexibly, and efficiently," 12 Dec. 2019 Pale pink and lilac formulas give a sheer wash of color that flatter your light complexion without looking garish. Jessica Teich, Good Housekeeping, "14 Tips for Applying Blush Perfectly, Every Single Time," 18 Nov. 2019 Television's leading ladies kicked off awards season with a wash of fresh color and some dramatic style statements on the red carpet at the 71st annual Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night. Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, "10 Best Dressed Women at the 2019 Emmy Awards," 22 Sep. 2019 The view at the top is a postcard in every direction: The clouds are sun roasted, the islands stark against the pastel wash of sea and sky. National Geographic, "In Corsica, on a quest for beautiful harmony," 24 July 2019 If body washes are more your style, try Murad’s Acne Body Wash, $44. Phillip Picardi, Teen Vogue, "How to Get Rid of Bacne: 15 Dermatologist-Approved Tips," 5 Feb. 2020 The suspect admitted to stealing eight bottles of assorted body wash and returned them to the store. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly report," 27 Jan. 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

23 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wash. Accessed 26 Feb. 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

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