wash: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (wosh, wôsh), [key]
  1. to wash oneself: After using the insecticide spray they washed completely.
  2. to wash clothes: Monday is the day we wash.
  3. to cleanse anything with or in water or other liquid.
  4. to undergo washing without injury, esp. shrinking or fading: fabrics guaranteed to wash.
  5. to be found true, valid, or real when tested or closely scrutinized; stand being put to the proof: His honesty won't wash.
  6. to be carried or driven by water (often fol. by along or ashore): The boat had washed ashore in the night.
  7. to flow or beat with a lapping sound, as waves on a shore.
  8. to move along in or as in waves, or with a rushing movement, as water.
  9. to be eroded, as by a stream or by rainfall: a hillside that washes frequently.
  10. to be removed by the action of water (often fol. by away): Much of the topsoil washes away each spring.
  11. to wash down a car.
    1. to clean completely by washing:to wash down a car.
    2. to facilitate the swallowing of (food or medicine) by drinking water or other liquid:to wash down a meal with a glass of wine.
  12. See(def. 75).
  13. The stain wouldn't wash out.
    1. to be removed by washing:The stain wouldn't wash out.
    2. to damage or demolish by the action of water:The embankment was washed out by the storm.
    3. Informal.to fail to qualify or continue; be eliminated:to wash out of graduate school.
    4. to become dim, indistinct, or blurred:The face of the watch washes out in sunlight.
  14. Aren't you going to wash up? Dinner is almost ready.
    1. to wash one's face and hands:Aren't you going to wash up? Dinner is almost ready.
    2. to wash (dishes, flatware, pots, etc.):I'll wash up the dishes, don't bother. We had someone in to wash up after the party.
    3. to end, esp. ignominiously (usually in the passive):After that performance, he's all washed up as a singer.
  1. the act or process of washing with water or other liquid: to give the car a wash.
  2. a quantity of clothes, linens, etc., washed, or to be washed, at one time: a heavy wash.
  3. a liquid with which something is washed, wetted, colored, overspread, etc.: She gave the room a wash of pale blue.
  4. the flow, sweep, dash, or breaking of water: The wash of the waves had drenched us.
  5. the sound made by this: listening to the wash of the Atlantic.
  6. water moving along in waves or with a rushing movement: the wash of the incoming tide.
  7. the rough or broken water left behind a moving ship, boat, etc.; wake: The little boats tossed about in the wash from the liner's propellers.
  8. the disturbance in the air left behind by a moving airplane or any of its parts: wing wash.
  9. any of various liquids for grooming or cosmetic purposes: a hair wash.
  10. a lotion or other liquid having medicinal properties, as an antiseptic solution or the like (often used in combination): to apply wash to a skinned knee; mouthwash; eyewash.
  11. minerals from which valuable material can be extracted by washing.
  12. the wearing away of the shore by breaking waves.
  13. a tract of land washed by the action of the sea or a river.
  14. a marsh, fen, or bog.
  15. a small stream or shallow pool.
  16. a shallow arm of the sea or a shallow part of a river.
  17. a depression or channel formed by flowing water.
  18. alluvial matter transferred and deposited by flowing water.
  19. Also calledthe dry bed of an intermittent stream.
  20. a broad, thin layer of color applied by a continuous movement of the brush, as in water-color painting.
  21. Also called
    1. an upper surface so inclined as to shed rain water from a building.
    2. any member of a building having such a surface.
  22. a thin coat of metal applied in liquid form: a gold wash.
  23. waste liquid matter, refuse, food, etc., from the kitchen, as for hogs; swill (often used in combination): hogwash.
  24. washy or weak liquor or liquid food.
  25. the fermented wort from which the spirit is extracted in distilling.
  26. an action that yields neither gain nor loss: The company's financial position is a wash compared with last year.
  27. The situation may look hopeless now, but it will all come out in the wash.
    1. to have a good or satisfactory result; turn out eventually:The situation may look hopeless now, but it will all come out in the wash.
    2. to be revealed; become known.
  1. capable of being washed without shrinking, fading, etc.; washable: a wash dress.


Pronunciation: (wosh, wôsh), [key]
  1. a shallow bay of the North Sea, on the coast of E England. 20 mi. (32 km) long; 15 mi. (24 km) wide.


Pronunciation: [key]
  1. Washington (defs. 4, 5).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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