• "The cat washed the jackdaw in its turn."
    "The cat washed the jackdaw in its turn."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v wash to cleanse (itself or another animal) by licking "The cat washes several times a day"
    • v wash cleanse (one's body) with soap and water
    • v wash wash or flow against "the waves laved the shore"
    • v wash make moist "The dew moistened the meadows"
    • v wash form by erosion "The river washed a ravine into the mountainside"
    • v wash 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 apply a thin coating of paint, metal, etc., to
    • v wash clean with some chemical process
    • v wash cleanse with a cleaning agent, such as soap, and water "Wash the towels, please!"
    • v wash separate dirt or gravel from (precious minerals)
    • v wash move by or as if by water "The swollen river washed away the footbridge"
    • v wash admit to testing or proof "This silly excuse won't wash in traffic court"
    • v wash be capable of being washed "Does this material wash?"
    • n wash the work of cleansing (usually with soap and water)
    • n wash any enterprise in which losses and gains cancel out "at the end of the year the accounting department showed that it was a wash"
    • n wash garments or white goods that can be cleaned by laundering
    • n wash a watercolor made by applying a series of monochrome washes one over the other
    • n wash a thin coat of water-base paint
    • n wash the dry bed of an intermittent stream (as at the bottom of a canyon)
    • n wash the flow of air that is driven backwards by an aircraft propeller
    • n wash 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"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Washing in the river Washing in the river
The author doing a little washing on his own account The author doing a little washing on his own account
"Washing Barge." "Washing Barge."

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Average number of days a West German goes without washing his underwear: 7
    • Wash A liquid cosmetic for the complexion.
    • Wash A liquid dentifrice.
    • Wash A liquid preparation for the hair; as, a hair wash .
    • Wash A medical preparation in a liquid form for external application; a lotion.
    • Wash (Distilling) A mixture of dunder, molasses, water, and scummings, used in the West Indies for distillation.
    • Wash 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.""These Lincoln washes have devoured them."
    • Wash A thin coat of color, esp. water color.
    • Wash A thin coat of metal applied in a liquid form on any object, for beauty or preservation; -- called also washing.
    • Wash an action or situation in which the gains and losses are equal, or closely compensate each other.
    • Wash (Geol) An alluvial cone formed by a stream at the base of a mountain.
    • Wash Capable of being washed without injury; washable; as, wash goods.
    • Wash (Geol) Gravel and other rock débris transported and deposited by running water; coarse alluvium.
    • Wash 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."
    • Wash Ten strikes, or bushels, of oysters.
    • Wash That with which anything is washed, or wetted, smeared, tinted, etc., upon the surface.
    • Wash The act of washing; an ablution; a cleansing, wetting, or dashing with water; hence, a quantity, as of clothes, washed at once.
    • Wash (Naut) The backward current or disturbed water caused by the action of oars, or of a steamer's screw or paddles, etc.
    • Wash (Naut) The blade of an oar, or the thin part which enters the water.
    • Wash (Aeronautics) the disturbance of the air left behind in the wake of a moving airplane or one of its parts.
    • Wash The dry bed of an intermittent stream, sometimes at the bottom of a cañon; as, the Amargosa wash, Diamond wash ; -- called also dry wash.
    • Wash (Distilling) The fermented wort before the spirit is extracted.
    • Wash The flow, swash, or breaking of a body of water, as a wave; also, the sound of it.
    • Wash (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 to be accepted as true or valid; to be proven true by subsequent evidence; -- usually used in the negative; as, his alibi won't wash .
    • Wash 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 To bear without injury the operation of being washed; as, some calicoes do not wash .
    • Wash To cause dephosphorisation of (molten pig iron) by adding substances containing iron oxide, and sometimes manganese oxide.
    • Wash 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."
    • Wash 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."
    • Wash To cover with a thin or watery coat of color; to tint lightly and thinly.
    • Wash 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.""The landscape washed with a cold, gray mist."
    • Wash To move with a lapping or swashing sound, or the like; to lap; splash; as, to hear the water washing .
    • Wash To overlay with a thin coat of metal; as, steel washed with silver.
    • Wash To pass (a gas or gaseous mixture) through or over a liquid for the purpose of purifying it, esp. by removing soluble constituents.
    • Wash To perform the act of ablution. "Wash in Jordan seven times."
    • Wash 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 hands. "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins.""The tide will wash you off."
    • Wash To use washes, as for the face or hair.
    • Wash To waste or abrade by the force of water in motion; as, heavy rains wash a road or an embankment.
    • Wash Washy; weak. "Their bodies of so weak and wash a temper."
    • Wash Waste liquid, the refuse of food, the collection from washed dishes, etc., from a kitchen, often used as food for pigs.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The average number of pillowcases washed a day at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas is 15,000
    • wash In chem., to purity (a gas) by causing (it) to bubble through water, or some other liquid, or some special solution, by means of which foreign substances are removed. Thus hydrogen gas may be washed free of sulphureted hydrogen by passing it through a solution of lead acetate.
    • wash To subject, as stock, to a wash or fictitious sale. See wash, n., 14.
    • wash To both sell and buy the same stock at the same time.
    • n wash A stony or gravelly slope of gentle declivity formed of debris washed from mountains by occasional torrential rains.
    • n wash An eroded or washed-out depression.
    • n wash The dry bed of an intermittent stream.
    • n wash An abbreviation of Washington (State).
    • wash To apply a liquid, especially water, to for the purpose of cleansing; scrub, scour, or cleanse in or with water or other liquid; free from impurities by ablution: as, to wash the hands and face; to wash linen; to wash the floor; to wash dishes.
    • wash Hence, to free from ceremonial defilement, or from the stains of guilt, sin, or corruption; purify.
    • wash To wet copiously, as with water or other liquid; moisten; cover with moisture.
    • wash To lap: lave, as by surrounding water; surround; overflow or dash over or against; sweep, as with flowing water.
    • wash To remove by ablution or by the cleansing action of water; dispel by or as by washing: either literally or figuratively: used with away, off, out, etc.
    • wash To overwhelm and carry along (in some specified direction) by or as by a rush of water: as, a man washed overboard; debris washed up by the storm; roast beef washed down with ale.
    • wash To cover with a watery or thin coat of color; tint lightly, thinly, or evenly, in water-color, with a pigment so mixed as to be very fluid and rapidly and smoothly applied.
    • wash To overlay with a thin coat or deposit of metal: as, to wash copper or brass with gold.
    • wash In mining, metal., etc., to separate from the earthy and lighter matters by the action of water: as, to wash gold; to wash ores. Washing is a common expression used in the most general way, as nearly an equivalent for ore-dressing, or the separation of ore from the gangue with which it is generally mixed. The term washing is, however, more especially used to designate the separation of gold from the detrital formation in which it so frequently occurs. The same term is also commonly employed to designate the process of separating coal from various impurities which frequently occur intermingled with it, such as shale, pyrites, argillaceous iron ore, gypsum, etc. The machines by which this is done are called coal-washers, as machines for washing gold are called gold-washers. Washing is also the term in general use for designating the operation of cleansing the ore when, as is frequently the case, it conies from the mine mixed with clay or dirt (material which cannot properly be called gangue). This is a coarse operation, which is sometimes a necessary preliminary to the operations of sizing and dressing, or concentrating, as some times called.
    • wash To perform the act of ablution on one's own person.
    • wash To cleanse clothes in or with water.
    • wash To stand the operation of washing without being destroyed, spoiled, or injured: said both of fabrics and of dyes: as, a dress that will not wash; colors that do not wash well.
    • wash Hence, to stand being put to the proof; stand the test: prove genuine, reliable, trust-worthy, capable, or fit, when submitted to trial.
    • wash To be eroded, as by a stream, by rainfall, etc.
    • wash To use washes or cosmetics.
    • wash To make a swish, swash, or swirl of the water: as, the shad are washing. See shad-wash.
    • n wash The act or operation of cleansing by the application of water; a cleansing with water or other liquid: as, to give one's face a wash.
    • n wash Articles in the course of being cleansed by washing, or the quantity of clothes or other articles washed on one occasion.
    • n wash The flow or sweep of a body of water; the onward rush of water as its billows break upon the shore; the dash or break of waves upon a shore.
    • n wash The rough or broken water left behind by a vessel as it moves along: as, the wash of the steamer nearly filled the boat.
    • n wash The licking or lapping noise made by rippling water as it comes in contact with a boat, a pier, the strand, or the like; the swish-swash of water disturbed as by wind or by ebb or flow.
    • n wash A piece of ground washed by the action of the sea or river, or sometimes overflowed and sometimes left dry; a shallow part of a river or arm of the sea; also, a morass or marsh; a bog; a fen; a quagmire.
    • n wash Substances collected and deposited by the action of water, such as alluvium.
    • n wash Waste liquor containing the refuse of food, collected from the cleansed dishes, etc., of a kitchen, such as is often given to pigs; swill or swillings.
    • n wash In distilling:
    • n wash The fermented wort, from which the spirit is extracted. The grain ground and infused is called the mash, the decanted liquor is called the wort, and the wort when fermented becomes the wash.
    • n wash A mixture of dunder, molasses, scummings, and water, used in the West Indies for distillation.
    • n wash A liquid used for application to a surface or a body to cleanse it, color it, or the like—especially a thin and watery liquid, as distinguished from one that is glutinous or oily. Specifically— A liquid used for toilet purposes, such as a cosmetic, a liquid dentifrice, or a hair-wash.
    • n wash In medicine, a lotion.
    • n wash A thin even coating of color spread over a surface, as of a painting. See def. 11.
    • n wash In zoology, a light or slight surface-coloration, as if laid over a ground-color; a superficial tone or tinge: as, a frosty wash over black.
    • n wash A thin coat of metal applied to anything for beauty or preservation.
    • n wash In water-color painting, the application of a pigment so mixed as to be in a very fluid condition, or a coat so applied. It is usually a very thin and transparent coat, applied quickly with a large brush, flat and often gradated so as to be darker atone edge than at the opposite edge, or to shade off without mark of separation from one tint into another.
    • n wash The blade of an oar.
    • n wash A measure of shell-fish; a stamped measure capable of holding 21 quarts and a pint of water.
    • n wash A fictitious kind of sale, disallowed on the stock and other exchanges, in which a broker who has received orders from one person to buy and from another person to sell a particular amount or quantity of some particular stock or commodity simply transfers the stock or commodity from one principal to the other and pockets the difference, instead of executing both orders separately to the best advantage in each ease, as is required by the rules of the different exchanges.
    • n wash That which is moved by the force of rain; a deposit formed by rain.
    • n wash Bates's camphorated water, made by adding copper sulphate, Armenian bole, and camphor to boiling water, and then straining.
    • wash Washy; weak; easily losing its qualities.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There was no soap in the ancient Mediterranean world. Olive oil was used to wash the body in addition to cooking.
    • v.t Wash wosh to cleanse with water: to overflow: to waste away by the action of water: to cover with a thin coat of metal or paint: in mining, to separate from earth by means of water
    • v.i Wash to cleanse one's self, to cleanse clothes with water: to stand water, of clothes:
    • n Wash a washing: the break of waves on the shore: the rough water left behind by a moving vessel: the shallow part of a river or arm of the sea: a marsh or fen: alluvial matter: waste liquor, refuse of food, &c.: that with which anything is washed: a lotion: a thin coat of paint, metal, &c.:
    • v.i Wash (coll.) to stand the test
    • n Wash (slang) a fictitious kind of sale of stock or other securities between parties of one interest, or by a broker who is at once the buyer and the seller, and who minds his own interest rather than that of his clients
    • ***


  • Proverb
    “Absence and a friendly neighbor washes away love.”
  • Lord Byron
    “As falls the dew on quenchless sands, blood only serves to wash ambition's hands.”
  • Pablo Picasso
    “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
  • Charles Dickens
    “It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes, and softens down the temper; so cry away.”
  • Dr. Hook
    Dr. Hook
    “Have a good cry, wash out your heart. If you keep it inside it'll tear you apart. Sometimes you lose, but you're gonna win if you just hang in.”
  • Christian Nevell Bovee
    “Tears are nature's lotion for the eyes. The eyes see better for being washed by them.”


Come out in the wash - If something will come out in the wash, it won't have any permanent negative effect.
Don't wash your dirty laundry in public - (UK) People, especially couples, who argue in front of others or involve others in their personal problems and crises, are said to be washing their dirty laundry in public; making public things that are best left private. (In American English, 'don't air your dirty laundry in public' is used.)
Eye- wash - This expression 'eye-wash' is generally used to cover up the anxiety of a person who is seeking a concrete reply or justification for an act or an event that had affected his personal image or caused him a loss. The affected person usually represents his case to the higher-ups and puts forth his demands for redressal. But the authority, in order to avoid embarassment to his organisation or to himself, is not in a position to expose the entire material or evidence which in turn tell upon the credibility of the organisation. In such circumstances, he will usually call for an investigation to satisfy the complainant, but will not be keen in disposing the case. The authority will drag on the issue, (at the same time pretending to be serious) until the seriousness of the issue dies down and no finality is reached. So, ' The investigation on the issue by the authority is an eye-wash'.
Not wash - If a story or explanation will not wash, it is not credible.
One hand washes the other - This idiom means that we need other people to get on as cooperation benefits us all.
Wash your hands of something - If you wash your hands of something, you disassociate yourself and accept no responsibility for what will happen.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. waschen, AS. wascan,; akin to D. wasschen, G. waschen, OHG. wascan, Icel. & Sw. vaska, Dan. vaske, and perhaps to E. water,. √150


In literature:

Wash the face with it every night and in the morning wash off with warm rain water.
"Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners" by B.G. Jefferis
Mrs. Brady went out washing, and Biddy cared for the baby when she wasn't in the street.
"A Little Girl of Long Ago" by Amanda Millie Douglas
It is then washed well and immediately dyed.
"Vegetable Dyes" by Ethel M. Mairet
Then wash the dyed fabric and notice whether the dyestuff washes off or not.
"Textiles" by William H. Dooley
Wash them thoroughly in plenty of water.
"The Italian Cook Book" by Maria Gentile
George Wash'n Jenks not such a blame fool's that.
"A Voyage with Captain Dynamite" by Charles Edward Rich
They had to go to the wash hole before they went to bed and wash clean.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4" by Work Projects Administration
The next day her body was washed up on the shore some distance beyond the city.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
But a good wash will be a treat.
"The Peril Finders" by George Manville Fenn
A-WASH. Reefs even with the surface.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth

In poetry:

Wood and clay will wash away,
Wash away, wash away,
Wood and clay will wash away,
My fair Lady.
"London Bridge is Falling Down" by Anonymous British
With many a wave-washed corridor,
And sea-filled portal,
And plunged below, and nevermore
Was seen of mortal—
"The River Maiden" by Victor James Daley
Cloth vs with holy garmentes White,
and golden Girdles giue:
Vs Sacrificers, wash thou cleane,
that we may euer lyue.
"A description of olde Rome" by Roger Cotton
'Tis from the mercy of our God
That all our hopes begin;
'Tis by the water and the blood
Our souls are washed from sin.
"Hymn 111" by Isaac Watts
Oh, for that same the saints in heaven
For his poor soul shall pray,
And Mary Mother wash with tears
His heresies away.
"Kathleen" by John Greenleaf Whittier
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
"Nothing But The Blood" by Robert Wadsworth Lowry

In news:

Boisseau passed away Friday October 5th 2007 of heart failure at the age of 86 while residing at Wash. State Veterans Home-Retsil.
The post went to Sen Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
Totten & Associates, LLC, Seattle, Wash.
My washing machine seems to always be in use.
The Arctic Challenger sits at the Port of Bellingham International Dock on Monday in Bellingham, Wash.
Shell says the Arctic Challenger will probably complete renovations in Bellingham, Wash.
Several miles of coastline were tarred with weathered oil washing ashore days after Isaac raked Gulf Coast.
Are sanitizing gels as effective as old-fashioned hand washing.
So what works best, hand washing or sanitizing gels.
Do you ever get the feeling that your facial cleanser 's benefits are getting washed down the drain.
She would poke herself in the eye when washing her face.
I washed my hair in the sink.
Power washing is a 6 week project that usually happens later in the year.
Many comforters can be washed in the washing machine on the delicate cycle and dried in the dryer on low.
Marcus Nirschl, 30, a union glazer from Kent, Wash. Was removed from Tim's June 24 concert in Auburn, Wash. Tim pulled Nirschl onstage after what appeared to be an altercation in the front rows of the audience.

In science:

As this ratio increases, it becomes more likely that the oscillation will be washed out.
Rotational Evolution During Type I X-Ray Bursts
We could wash out this feature with scattering by hot electrons, but this would require electrons with velocity dispersions > 2100 km s−1 .
The Aligned z ~ 1 Radio Galaxy 3C 280
It is important to notice that the barrier structure may be washed out by the thermal effects in the early Universe.
Bottom-Up Approach to Moduli Dynamics in Heavy Gravitino Scenario : Superpotential, Soft Terms and Sparticle Mass Spectrum
Of course, the discrete Coulomb vacua also exist in this limit, and it is possible that the presence of these additional Coulomb vacua washes out the singularity.
A-Model Correlators from the Coulomb Branch
Still, the signal will be washed out if Q<1.
On a Possible Indicator of Homogeneity of the Universe