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 Warner added that security camera footage showed customers washing dishes and clearing tables while the employee took orders and made food. Washington Post, "The lone employee at an Alabama Waffle House was swamped. So customers jumped behind the counter to help.," 11 Nov. 2019 If you or your pet have been bitten or scratched by a wild or stray animal, wash the area with soap and water for several minutes. Jon Kelvey, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Kitten with rabies found near Manchester, Carroll County health officials say," 5 Nov. 2019 The girls wash, make their beds and walk across the courtyard to breakfast. Freep.com, "She was prostituting, pregnant, doing drugs by 14. Now, Taylor girl fights to save her own life.," 1 Nov. 2019 Then wash as usual and spend the rest of the day singing the praises of baking soda to all who will listen. Country Living Staff, Country Living, "How to Clean a Burnt Pan," 14 Oct. 2019 Use the pot lid or a plate to cover the top and leave just a slight opening to drain the water into another bowl or container (reserving it for washing dishes or drinking). Danika Worthington, The Know, "5 dirtbag camping recipes inspired by Colorado," 9 Oct. 2019 Saving Judy became one of her chores, like washing the dishes or sweeping the kitchen floor. Suyin Haynes, Time, "The True Story Behind the Movie Judy," 26 Sep. 2019 In addition to learning to communicate more openly, Natural Helpers assist local Elders in tasks like chopping wood, shoveling snow, washing dishes and taking out the trash. Anchorage Daily News, "Around Alaska, there’s a new approach to suicide prevention: Think locally," 17 Sep. 2019 Trieschmann said trainees start out washing dishes with staff to become comfortable with the program, their surroundings and one another. Karen Berkowitz, chicagotribune.com, "Offering second chances, Curt’s Cafe prepares to open in Highland Park," 5 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The four-in-one face wash also comes in face wipe form, which wipes away dirt and makeup just as well. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Natural Products for Your Dopp Kit," 17 Oct. 2019 This glass mug, which is hand-wash recommended, holds 32 oz. of your beverage of choice. Alicia Kortendick, oregonlive, "10 items to help Oregon State Beavers fans update their tailgate experience and gameday outfit," 8 Oct. 2019 Police verified Gumienny's account through car-wash surveillance footage, the warrants said. NBC News, "Fotis Dulos was 'lying in wait' at wife's home on day she vanished, police say," 6 Sep. 2019 Burglary The owner of Kelly Kar Wash, 5211 FM 2351, arrived at the business at about 6:30 a.m. Aug. 19 to find tools, car-wash parts and change scattered across the floor, police said. Jennifer James Correspondent, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood man accused of stealing school bus," 6 Sep. 2019 The story was about a tax break that the county, under Smith's direction, allegedly wrongly promised to a car-wash business. oregonlive.com, "Malheur County asks sheriff to investigate local newspaper for contacting public officials," 20 Aug. 2019 To be clear, there are some objective benefits to a no-wash wardrobe. Luke Winkie, Vox, "From condemning “white terrorism” to condemning video games: Republican responses to El Paso shooting," 5 Aug. 2019 The fragrance- and dye-free face wash is formulated with hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help keep your skin naturally moisturized, and won’t disrupt your skin barrier. Christina Butan, PEOPLE.com, "The Best Beauty Buys on Amazon This Month, Including Drew Barrymore’s Favorite Sunscreen," 1 Aug. 2019 The budget would spend $17.1 million to help people on Medi-Cal access vision, hearing, incontinence creams and washes, podiatry and speech therapy. Fox News, "California OKs $214.8B budget, including health insurance for illegal immigrants, money for homelessness," 14 June 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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Statistics for wash

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

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
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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