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Language: Old English
Origin: wascan

wash

1 verb
     
wash1 S1 W3
1

wash something

[transitive] to clean something using water and a type of soap:
This shirt needs washing.
It's your turn to wash the dishes.
2

wash yourself

[intransitive and transitive] to clean your body with soap and water:
Amy washed and went to bed.
She had a hot bath and washed her hair.
I'm just going to wash my hands.
wash yourself
When a cat has finished eating, it usually washes itself.
3

flow

[intransitive,transitive always + adverb/preposition] if a river, sea etc washes somewhere, or if something carried by the river or sea is washed somewhere, it flows or moves there:
The waves washed against the shore.
The sea washed over her.
The young man was washed overboard (=pushed from a boat into the sea by the force of the water) in the storm.
The body was washed ashore (=brought to the shore by waves).
4

something doesn't/won't wash (with somebody)

spoken used to say that you do not believe or accept someone's explanation, reason, attitude etc:
I'm sorry but all his charm just doesn't wash with me.
5

wash your hands of something

to refuse to be responsible for something any more:
I've washed my hands of the whole affair.
6

wash your mouth out!

spoken old-fashioned used to tell someone who has just sworn or said something rude that they should not have spoken that way
7

wash well

to be easy to clean using soap and water:
Silk doesn't wash well.

➔ wash/air your dirty linen/laundry (in public)

at dirty1 (7)

wash something ↔ away

phrasal verb
1 if water washes something away, it carries it away with great force:
Floods in Bangladesh have washed hundreds of homes away.
2 to get rid of unhappy feelings, thoughts, or memories:
My anxiety was washed away.

wash something ↔ down

phrasal verb
1DHC to clean something large using a lot of water:
Can you wash down the driveway?
2 to drink something with or after food or with medicine to help you swallow it
wash something ↔ down with
steak and chips washed down with red wine

wash off

phrasal verb
1DHC

wash something ↔ off

to clean dirt, dust etc from the surface of something with water
2 if a substance washes off, you can remove it from the surface of something by washing:
Will this paint wash off?

wash out

phrasal verb
1DHC

wash something ↔ out

to wash the inside of something quickly:
I'll just wash out this vase for flowers.
2 if a substance washes out, you can remove it from a material by washing it:
a dye that won't wash out
3

be washed out

if an event is washed out, it cannot continue because of rain:
The summer fair was washed out by the English weather.

wash over somebody

phrasal verb
1 if a feeling washes over you, you suddenly feel it very strongly:
A feeling of relief washed over her.
2 if you let something wash over you, you do not pay close attention to it:
She was content to let the conversation wash over her.

wash up

phrasal verb
1 British EnglishDHC to wash plates, dishes, knives etc washing-up
2 American English to wash your hands:
Go wash up before dinner.
3

wash something ↔ up

if waves wash something up, they carry it to the shore
wash something ↔ up on
His body was washed up on the beach the next morning.
washed-up
WORD FOCUS: clean WORD FOCUS: clean
wash with soap and water
wipe
with a damp cloth
brush
with a brush to remove the dirt
polish
by rubbing with a cloth
scrub
by rubbing hard
sweep
with a broom
mop
with water and a mop (a tool with a long handle)
vacuum
also hoover British English with a machine that sucks up dust
disinfect
using chemicals to kill germs
cleanse
to clean your skin using a special cream
rinse
to put water on to remove dirt or soap
dust
to remove dust, for example with a cloth


See also
clean

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