Definitions for: Wash

[n] the work of cleansing (usually with soap and water)
[n] (informal) any enterprise in which losses and gains cancel out
[n] garments or white goods that can be cleaned by laundering
[n] a watercolor made by applying a series of monochrome washes one over the other
[n] a thin coat of water-base paint
[n] (western United States) the dry bed of an intermittent stream (as at the bottom of a canyon)
[n] the flow of air that is driven backwards by an aircraft propeller
[v] to cleanse (itself or another animal) by licking, as of a cat; "The cat washes several times a day"
[v] cleanse (one's body) with soap and water
[v] 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"
[v] wash or flow against; "the waves laved the shore"
[v] make moist; "The dew moistened the meadows"
[v] form by erosion; "The river washed a ravine into the mountainside"
[v] apply a thin coating of paint, metal, etc., to
[v] clean with some chemical process
[v] cleanse with a cleaning agent, such as soap, and water; "Wash the towels, please!"
[v] separate dirt or gravel from (precious minerals)
[v] move by or as if by water; "The swollen river washed away the footbridge"
[v] admit to testing or proof; "This silly excuse won't wash in traffic court"
[v] be capable of being washed; "Does this material wash?"

Webster (1913) Definition: Wash, v. t.
1. To cause dephosphorisation of (molten pig iron) by adding
substances containing iron oxide, and sometimes manganese

2. To pass (a gas or gaseous mixture) through or over a
liquid for the purpose of purifying it, esp. by removing
soluble constituents.

Wash, v. i.
1. To use washes, as for the face or hair.

2. To move with a lapping or swashing sound, or the like; to
lap; splash; as, to hear the water washing.

Wash, n.
1. [Western U. S.] (Geol.)
(a) Gravel and other rock d['e]bris transported and
deposited by running water; coarse alluvium.
(b) An alluvial cone formed by a stream at the base of a

2. The dry bed of an intermittent stream, sometimes at the
bottom of a ca[~n]on; as, the Amargosa wash, Diamond wash;
-- called also dry wash. [Western U. S.]

3. (Arch.) The upper surface of a member or material when
given a slope to shed water. Hence, a structure or
receptacle shaped so as to receive and carry off water, as
a carriage wash in a stable.

Wash (w[o^]sh), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Washed (w[o^]sht);
p. pr. & vb. n. Washing.] [OE. waschen, AS. wascan; akin to
D. wasschen, G. waschen, OHG. wascan, Icel. & Sw. vaska, Dan.
vaske, and perhaps to E. water. [root]150.]
1. To cleanse by ablution, or dipping or rubbing in water; to
apply water or other liquid to for the purpose of
cleansing; to scrub with water, etc., or as with water;
as, to wash the hands or body; to wash garments; to wash
sheep or wool; to wash the pavement or floor; to wash the
bark of trees.

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, . . .
he took water and washed his hands before the
multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of
this just person. --Matt. xxvii.

2. To cover with water or any liquid; to wet; to fall on and
moisten; hence, to overflow or dash against; as, waves
wash the shore.

Fresh-blown roses washed with dew. --Milton.

[The landscape] washed with a cold, gray mist.

3. To waste or abrade by the force of water in motion; as,
heavy rains wash a road or an embankment.

4. To remove by washing to take away by, or as by, the action
of water; to drag or draw off as by the tide; -- often
with away, off, out, etc.; as, to wash dirt from the

Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins.
--Acts xxii.

The tide will wash you off. --Shak.

5. To cover with a thin or watery coat of color; to tint
lightly and thinly.

6. To overlay with a thin coat of metal; as, steel washed
with silver.

To wash gold, etc., to treat earth or gravel, or crushed
ore, with water, in order to separate the gold or other
metal, or metallic ore, through their superior gravity.

To wash the hands of. See under Hand.

Wash, v. i.
1. To perform the act of ablution.

Wash in Jordan seven times. --2 Kings v.

2. To clean anything by rubbing or dipping it in water; to
perform the business of cleansing clothes, ore, etc., in
water. ``She can wash and scour.'' --Shak.

3. To bear without injury the operation of being washed; as,
some calicoes do not wash. [Colloq.]

4. To be wasted or worn away by the action of water, as by a
running or overflowing stream, or by the dashing of the
sea; -- said of road, a beach, etc.

Wash, n.
1. The act of washing; an ablution; a cleansing, wetting, or
dashing with water; hence, a quantity, as of clothes,
washed at once.

2. A piece of ground washed by the action of a sea or river,
or sometimes covered and sometimes left dry; the
shallowest part of a river, or arm of the sea; also, a
bog; a marsh; a fen; as, the washes in Lincolnshire. ``The
Wash of Edmonton so gay.'' --Cowper.

These Lincoln washes have devoured them. --Shak.

3. Substances collected and deposited by the action of water;
as, the wash of a sewer, of a river, etc.

The wash of pastures, fields, commons, and roads,
where rain water hath a long time settled.

4. Waste liquid, the refuse of food, the collection from
washed dishes, etc., from a kitchen, often used as food
for pigs. --Shak.

5. (Distilling)
(a) The fermented wort before the spirit is extracted.
(b) A mixture of dunder, molasses, water, and scummings,
used in the West Indies for distillation. --B.

6. That with which anything is washed, or wetted, smeared,
tinted, etc., upon the surface. Specifically:
(a) A liquid cosmetic for the complexion.
(b) A liquid dentifrice.
(c) A liquid preparation for the hair; as, a hair wash.
(d) A medical preparation in a liquid form for external
application; a lotion.
(e) (Painting) A thin coat of color, esp. water color.
(j) A thin coat of metal laid on anything for beauty or

7. (Naut.)
(a) The blade of an oar, or the thin part which enters the
(b) The backward current or disturbed water caused by the
action of oars, or of a steamer's screw or paddles,

8. The flow, swash, or breaking of a body of water, as a
wave; also, the sound of it.

9. Ten strikes, or bushels, of oysters. [Prov. Eng.]

Wash ball, a ball of soap to be used in washing the hands
or face. --Swift.

Wash barrel (Fisheries), a barrel nearly full of split
mackerel, loosely put in, and afterward filled with salt
water in order to soak the blood from the fish before

Wash bottle. (Chem.)
(a) A bottle partially filled with some liquid through
which gases are passed for the purpose of purifying
them, especially by removing soluble constituents.
(b) A washing bottle. See under Washing.

Wash gilding. See Water gilding.

Wash leather, split sheepskin dressed with oil, in
imitation of chamois, or shammy, and used for dusting,
cleaning glass or plate, etc.; also, alumed, or buff,
leather for soldiers' belts.

Wash, a.
1. Washy; weak. [Obs.]

Their bodies of so weak and wash a temper. --Beau. &

2. Capable of being washed without injury; washable; as, wash
goods. [Colloq.]

Synonyms: airstream, backwash, dampen, dry wash, lap, laundry, lavation, lave, moisten, race, rinse, slipstream, wash away, wash drawing, wash off, wash out, washables, washing, washing

See Also: ablution, acid-wash, baste, bathing, be, business activity, calcimine, clean, clean, cleanse, color wash, colour wash, commercial activity, cover, cradle, creek bed, dishwashing, displace, eat away, elute, erode, flow, flow, fret, gargle, garment, handwash, household linen, humidify, hush, laundering, machine wash, make clean, moisturise, moisturize, move, pan, pan off, pan out, powerwash, pressure-wash, remove, rinse, rinse, rinse off, rinsing, scrub, scrub up, separate, shampoo, soak, soaking, sponge down, stand, stonewash, streambed, suds, take, take away, wash up, washing-up, washup, water-base paint, watercolor, water-wash, wet, white goods, whitewash, whitewash, window-washing, withdraw, work

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