AskDefine | Define wash

Dictionary Definition



1 a thin coat of water-base paint
2 the work of cleansing (usually with soap and water) [syn: washing, lavation]
3 the dry bed of an intermittent stream (as at the bottom of a canyon) [syn: dry wash]
4 the erosive process of washing away soil or gravel by water (as from a roadway); "from the house they watched the washout of their newly seeded lawn by the water" [syn: washout]
5 the flow of air that is driven backwards by an aircraft propeller [syn: slipstream, airstream, race, backwash]
6 a watercolor made by applying a series of monochrome washes one over the other [syn: wash drawing]
7 garments or white goods that can be cleaned by laundering [syn: laundry, washing, washables]
8 any enterprise in which losses and gains cancel out; "at the end of the year the accounting department showed that it was a wash"


1 clean with some chemical process [syn: rinse]
2 cleanse (one's body) with soap and water [syn: lave]
3 cleanse with a cleaning agent, such as soap, and water; "Wash the towels, please!" [syn: launder]
4 move by or as if by water; "The swollen river washed away the footbridge"
5 be capable of being washed; "Does this material wash?"
6 admit to testing or proof; "This silly excuse won't wash in traffic court"
7 separate dirt or gravel from (precious minerals)
8 apply a thin coating of paint, metal, etc., to
9 remove by the application of water or other liquid and soap or some other cleaning agent; "he washed the dirt from his coat"; "The nurse washed away the blood"; "Can you wash away the spots on the windows?"; "he managed to wash out the stains" [syn: wash out, wash off, wash away]
10 form by erosion; "The river washed a ravine into the mountainside"
11 make moist; "The dew moistened the meadows" [syn: moisten, dampen]
12 wash or flow against; "the waves laved the shore" [syn: lave, lap]
13 to cleanse (itself or another animal) by licking; "The cat washes several times a day"

User Contributed Dictionary



From wæscan (cognate with Dutch wassen and German waschen)


  • /wɑʃ/ (US) or /wɒʃ/ (UK)
  • /wAS/ (US) or /wQS>/ (UK)
  • Rhymes: -ɒʃ


  1. To clean with water.
  2. To move by the force of water in motion (as in the flood washed away houses).
  3. To separate valuable material (such as gold) from worthless material by the action of flowing water.
  4. (intransitive) To clean oneself with water.
  5. (intransitive) To be eroded or carried away by the action of water.
to clean with water
to move by the force of water in motion
to separate valuable material
  • Finnish: huuhtoa
to clean oneself
  • Finnish: peseytyä
  • Greek: πλένομαι
  • Irish: nigh
  • Italian: lavarsi
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: خۆ شوشتن
to be eroded
  • Finnish: huuhtoutua


  1. The process or an instance of washing or being washed by water or other liquid.
  2. A liquid used for washing.
  3. The quantity of clothes washed at a time.
  4. The sound of breaking of the seas, e.g., on the shore.
  5. The wake of a moving ship.
  6. The turbulence left in the air by a moving airplane.
  7. A lotion or other liquid with medicinal or hygienic properties.
  8. Ground washed away to the sea or a river.
  9. A shallow body of water.
  10. In arid and semi-arid regions, the normally dry bed of an intermittent or ephemeral stream; an arroyo; wadi
    • 1997, Stanley Desmond Smith, et al. Physiological Ecology of North American Desert Plants, Nature
      In some desert-wash systems (which have been termed “xero-riparian”)
    • 1999, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert
      ...though the wash may carry surface water for only a few hours a year.
    • 2005, Le Hayes, Pilgrims in the Desert: The Early History of the East Mojave Desert
      Rock Spring Wash continues a short distance then joins Watson Wash. Water from Rock Spring comes out of the boulder strewn wash and disappears into the sand
  11. A lack of progress or regress; no change
    His first week at the new job was a wash, since he spent so much time learning the system instead of using it.
process or an instance of washing or being washed by water
  • Finnish: pesu
clothes washed at a time
  • Finnish: pyykki
sound of breaking seas
wake of a ship
  • Finnish: vanavesi, peräaalto
turbulence left by airplane
  • Finnish: jättöpyörre
ground washed away to the sea or a river
  • Finnish: huuhtouma
shallow body of water
  • Finnish: matalikko
the normally dry bed of an intermittent or ephemeral stream - a wadi
lack of progress

Extensive Definition

Wash may refer to:
wash in Simple English: Wash

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ablution, abstergent, acrylic painting, apply paint, aquarelle, babble, backwash, baptize, bath, bathe, baygall, be consistent, be the case, be true, be truthful, bedaub, bedizen, begild, besmear, bog, bottom, bottomland, bottoms, brew, brush on paint, bubble, buffalo wallow, burble, calcimine, canvas, cathartic, chromogen, cleaner, cleaning agent, cleaning out, cleaning solvent, cleanser, cleansing cream, coat, coat of paint, coating, cold cream, color, color filter, color gelatin, colorant, coloring, complexion, condensation trail, conform to fact, contrail, cover, cream, dab, daub, dead-color, deep-dye, dentifrice, depurant, detergent, dip, distemper, diuretic, double-dye, douche, douching, drench, drier, drouk, dye, dyestuff, easel-picture, elution, elutriation, emblazon, emetic, enamel, encaustic cerography, encaustic painting, enema, engild, everglade, exhaust, exterior paint, face, fast-dye, fen, fenland, finger painting, flat coat, flat wash, float, floor enamel, flower painting, flush, flush out, flushing, flushing out, fresco, fresco painting, gargle, genre painting, gild, glade, glaze, gloss, gouache, grain, grisaille, ground, guggle, gurgle, hog wallow, hold, hold good, hold together, hold true, hold up, hold water, holm, holystone, hue, illuminate, illumination, illustration, imbrue, imbue, impasto, impregnate, infiltrate, infuse, ingrain, inject, interior paint, irrigate, irrigation, japan, lacquer, lap, lapping, lather, lathering, launder, laundering, laundry, lavabo, lavage, lavation, lave, laving, lay on color, leach, lip, lixiviate, lotion, macerate, marais, marish, marsh, marshland, meadow, medium, mere, mire, monochrome, moor, moorland, mop, mop up, mopping, mopping up, morass, moss, mouthwash, mud, mud flat, mural painting, nauseant, oil, oil painting, opaque color, paint, painting, parget, peat bog, percolate, permeate, picturization, pigment, plash, portraiture, poster painting, prime, prime coat, primer, priming, prove out, prove to be, prove true, pumice stone, purgative, purge, purifier, purl, quagmire, quicksand, remain valid, ride, rinse, rinse out, rinsing, ripple, ritually immerse, salt marsh, saturate, scour, scouring, scrub, scrub up, scrubbing, scrubbing up, seethe, shade, shadow, shampoo, shellac, shower, slob land, slop on paint, slosh, slough, sluice, sluice out, smear, soak, soap, soaping, sodden, solvent, sop, sough, souse, splash, sponge, sponging, stain, stand the test, stand up, steep, stick together, stipple, stream, sump, swab, swabbing, swale, swamp, swampland, swash, swish, synthetic detergent, syringe, taiga, tempera, the brush, thinner, tinct, tinction, tincture, tinge, tint, toivel, tone, tooth powder, toothpaste, track, transparent color, trill, tub, tubbing, turpentine, turps, undercoat, undercoating, vapor trail, varnish, vehicle, vortex, wake, wallow, wash coat, wash drawing, wash out, wash up, washday, washing, washing up, washout, washup, water, waterlog, whitewash, wiping up
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