wash·​ing | \ ˈwȯ-shiŋ How to pronounce washing (audio) , ˈwä- \

Definition of washing

1 : the act or action of one that cleanses with water
2 : material obtained by washing
3 : articles washed or to be washed : wash

Examples of washing in a Sentence

These shirts will look great even after repeated washings.
Recent Examples on the Web And what to do about hand-washing, the most basic of precautions, when there is no running water? Jake Bleiberg, Star Tribune, "Massive storms, outages force tough decisions amid pandemic," 18 Feb. 2021 Measures recommended by the CDC include hand washing, disinfection of school facilities, diagnostic testing and contact tracing to find new infections and separate infected people from others in a school. Naomi Martin, BostonGlobe.com, "Mass. educators, parents welcome CDC guidance on reopening classrooms," 12 Feb. 2021 The doctor added that masks, hand-washing, and other preventive measures will still be important even after people have received the vaccine. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Nurse says he tested positive for coronavirus after receiving first vaccine dose," 30 Dec. 2020 Open, use smart guidelines like masks, hand washing, distancing and avoiding crowds. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Could California lockdown restrictions end in January?," 25 Dec. 2020 There also will be mandatory masks, hand washing, sanitizer stations, touchless doors and Plexiglas dividers. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "2021 South Florida Fair shrinks to ‘mini-fair,’ ditching adult rides amid COVID-19 surge," 24 Dec. 2020 These woes shaped some of the most salient skin-care trends of 2020 — many of which will continue into the new year (masks, hand-washing, and HEV are part of the new normal, after all). Sophie Wirt, Allure, "7 Skin-Care Trends We're Predicting Will Be Big in 2021," 20 Dec. 2020 Pence also encouraged Americans to continue to practice social distancing, regular hand washing, and wearing a mask. CBS News, "Vice President Mike Pence gets vaccinated on live television," 18 Dec. 2020 Social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing are all down since March, according to the survey. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "Americans are more worried than ever about coronavirus—but are doing less to combat it," 17 Dec. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of washing

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about washing

Time Traveler for washing

Time Traveler

The first known use of washing was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for washing

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Washing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/washing. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for washing



English Language Learners Definition of washing

: an act of washing something with water and soap
British : clothes, towels, sheets, etc., that need to be washed or that are being washed

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on washing

What made you want to look up washing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!