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

wash

adjective

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

bathe, lap, lave, lip, splash

Synonyms: Noun

bog, fen, marsh, marshland, mire, moor, morass, muskeg, slough (also slew), swamp, swampland, wetland

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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

Aubree Casas, 5, uses a ScrubBee to wash her hands during class at Bret Harte Elementary School in Burbank on Wednesday morning. Andrew J. Campa, Burbank Leader, "Donation offers comfort, practicality for Bret Harte Elementary autistic students," 30 Aug. 2019 The 'Workaholics' creator and stand-up comedian talks playing the straight man for once, his first meeting with show creator Danny McBride and the importance of washing your hands after eating spicy foods. Pete Keeley, The Hollywood Reporter, "Workaholics," 23 Aug. 2019 And wash it all down with a crisp, slightly savory Celery Gin & Tonic. Emily Spicer, ExpressNews.com, "How to eat a PB&J like an adult — and with a cocktail," 15 Aug. 2019 Soak the spots well, let the product sit for five minutes, and then power-wash it off. Boston.com Real Estate, "Ask the Carpenter: Getting mold off cedar shingles, paint off brick," 18 July 2019 Although the treats are for dogs to eat, people who've touched pig ears without thoroughly washing their hands afterward may catch the infection as well. Maria Elena Vizcaino, Dallas News, "Pet Supplies Plus recalls pig ear dog treats after possible link to salmonella outbreak," 18 July 2019 Homes were washed away, power was gone, food was sparse and many people died. Austen Erblat, sun-sentinel.com, "Free event will raise money for disaster relief in Puerto Rico," 16 July 2019 People can avoid contracting the bacteria by thoroughly washing their hands after making contact with animals at places like farms, petting zoos and fair exhibits. Ramona Sentinel, "County E. coli cases reach 10 confirmed, one probable," 12 July 2019 The walls at each hospital are full of signs — about interpretation services, nondiscrimination and privacy policies, reminders to wash your hands. Wendi C. Thomas, ProPublica, "This Memphis Hospital System Flouts IRS Rules by Not Publicly Posting Financial Assistance Policies," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Both women wore light-wash, high-waisted jeans with black, short-sleeved tops. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Miley Cyrus and Kaitlynn Carter Embrace During Date in L.A. After PDA-Filled NYFW Trip," 15 Sep. 2019 For the sixth straight year, unsheltered homelessness — people living on the streets, in desert washes, vehicles or another place not meant for habitation — increased. Catherine Reagor, azcentral, "Squeezed Out: Arizona spending $15M to build affordable housing and shelters for homeless," 12 Sep. 2019 Hand sanitizer is your friend, as are regular hand washes. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "The health risks of ultra-long-haul flights," 22 Aug. 2019 Start by finding a natural replacement for your daily sunscreen, hand soap, body lotion/wash, and deodorant. Olivia Fleming & Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Ultimate Guide to Clean Beauty," 12 Aug. 2019 Later, wash in warm water with an odor-preventing laundry detergent. Jura Koncius, courant.com, "Stains are a summer staple. Here’s how to defeat them," 8 Aug. 2019 Because this spray comes out in just a couple washes, this is a great option for gray hair, which tends to pick up more color than darker tones do. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "10 Best Temporary Hair Color Products, According to Professional Colorists," 8 Aug. 2019 Later, wash in warm water with an odor-preventing laundry detergent. Jura Koncius, Washington Post, "How to battle six stains of summer," 6 Aug. 2019 This is especially important during seasons prone to flash floods when hiking or driving in deep, narrow washes that would be difficult to exit. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Desert travelers should be wary of potential flash floods," 27 July 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near wash

Wasatch Range

Wasco

wase

wash

Wash

Washa

washable

Statistics for wash

Last Updated

5 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wash

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

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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

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

Wash.

abbreviation

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wash

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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