wash

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

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 Holmen and Liu recommend parents wash cloth masks — ideally every day — and dispose of surgical masks after at most a couple of uses, or if the masks are soiled. San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Sep. 2021 For this texture, Renee goes with a similar cleansing routine as 4B: dampen hair every 4-5 days and apply a leave-in or refresh product, co-wash every 1-2 weeks, and then shampoo every 6-8 weeks. Noel Cody, Essence, 8 Sep. 2021 Just be sure to wash it with cold water, as the brand recommends. Isabel Garcia, PEOPLE.com, 7 Sep. 2021 His election would not wash away competing agendas between unions and business organizations, motorists and bicycle enthusiasts, and those seeking to overhaul police spending and tactics and an officers union wanting to keep them much the same. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2021 Instead of going to its usual vendors who collect, sort, wash, and pelletize the plastic into a consistent substrate, Herman Miller joined NextWave Plastics, a consortium that aims to divert tons of plastic from entering the ocean. Anne Quito, Quartz, 2 Sep. 2021 Hospital officials urge Oregonians to get vaccinated, wear masks, physically distance and wash their hands to prevent a surge of patients that could further overwhelm hospitals. oregonlive, 27 Aug. 2021 Quintenz has been known to wash students’ uniforms when a laundromat is unaffordable and take kids to the DMV to qualify for driver’s licenses — no small feat for non-Americans. Washington Post, 27 Aug. 2021 People who aren't vaccinated should continue to wear a mask while indoors in public, avoid crowds, socially distance and wash hands frequently and thoroughly, the CDC says. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 13 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are no wash sale rules like those that apply to stocks. Robert W. Wood, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 Call for a night cream and PCA Skin Daily Cleansing Oil for a face wash. Marci Robin, Allure, 7 Sep. 2021 Duncan Idaho), to the body sheilds that glow and hum and turn hand-to-hand combat into a wash of blues and reds. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 4 Sep. 2021 If so, the boats were further inspected and, when necessary, decontaminated with a pressure wash at a mussel-cooking 140 degrees. jsonline.com, 2 Sep. 2021 Her solution was to return to memories of landscapes, sublimating emotions and sensations into cascades of color and wash. New York Times, 2 Sep. 2021 Ética uses deadstock fabric (unused materials from mills that would normally end up in a landfill but are instead upcycled) and repurposes used wash stones, compressing them into bricks to build low-income housing. Talia Abbas, Glamour, 2 Sep. 2021 The state and federal agencies and their tribal partners will also watch for possible effects on water quality and food supplies when accumulated ash and sediment wash into the lake during the winter rains and snowfall. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, 1 Sep. 2021 Bath time just got so much simpler thanks to this two-in-one shampoo, which can also be used as a body wash. Emily Belfiore, PEOPLE.com, 30 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In this episode of Wash Day Diaries, Entrepreneur and dancer Tavia Bailey shares her step-by-step approach to product build-up and moisturized post-wash braids. Ashley Abramson, Allure, 11 Aug. 2021 That wash-rinse-repeat cycle has played out repeatedly over the last century, three times in the last 14 years alone. New York Times, 11 Mar. 2021 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, 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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Buying Guide

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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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Dictionary Entries Near wash

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Statistics for wash

Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wash. Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for wash

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 : laundry
: 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

wash

transitive verb
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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