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

The entire meteorite had been around the size of a washing machine; the fragment that crashed into the house was merely a part of a much larger object. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Super Rare Mud Meteorite Crashed into a Costa Rican House," 22 May 2019 But there is another option: a portable washing machine. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "This Black + Decker Portable Washing Machine Might Be The Best Thing That's Ever Happened to Me," 3 May 2019 Scott made them in the shapes of slot machines and washing machines, while Lagerfeld turned a ski gondola into the must-have cross-body from his swan song at Chanel. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The 8 Best Accessory Trends of Fall 2019," 14 Mar. 2019 Employee washing dishes did not put food contact surfaces in sanitizer solution long enough. Robert Gundran, azcentral, "Restaurant with no sneeze guard on salsa bar among this week's violations," 11 July 2018 Health officials advise all water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or washing dishes be boiled. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "About 4,000 lose water in three cities," 6 July 2018 Patients can practice washing dishes, using a stove and opening cabinets. Ben Brazil, latimes.com, "Virtual reality, Smart car and putting green help patients at new Hoag center recover from traumatic injuries," 20 June 2018 These include a domestic view of the artist’s boyfriend John Giorno washing dishes (in the nude) and Warhol at the factory painting a Mao canvas. New York Times, "Warhol at the Whitney: From Myth to Man," 19 June 2018 Extra: Try this project with other household tasks, such as washing dishes, folding laundry or cleaning your room. Ben Finio, Scientific American, "Robot, Make Me a Sandwich!," 5 Apr. 2018

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

Statistics for washing

Last Updated

3 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for washing

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

See more words from the same century

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

More from Merriam-Webster on washing

Spanish Central: Translation of washing

Nglish: Translation of washing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of washing for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about washing

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).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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