wash Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “wash” in the English Dictionary

"wash" in British English

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washverb

uk   /wɒʃ/  us   /wɑːʃ/
  • wash verb (CLEAN)

A1 [T] to clean something using water: wash your hair/hands wash the car/clothes/floor These sheets need washing. I'll wash the bottle out (= clean its inside) and use it again.
A1 [I] (US also wash up) to clean yourself, or a part of yourself, with water and usually soap: I'd like to wash before dinner.
wash well
If a particular material or piece of clothing washes well, it is not damaged or spoiled by repeated washing.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • wash verb (FLOW)

[I usually + adv/prep] literary If water washes somewhere, it flows there, usually repeatedly: She stood on the shore and let the water wash over her tired feet.
wash sb/sth up/ashore/overboard
(of the sea) to carry something or someone to or away from a place: Overnight the waves had washed up a lot of rubbish. More than 400 dead dolphins had been washed ashore. A Spanish crew member had been washed overboard (= carried off a ship into the sea by the force of the water) in the storm.

washnoun

uk   /wɒʃ/  us   /wɑːʃ/
  • wash noun (CLEANING)

A2 [C usually singular] the action of washing something or a part of your body: Those curtains need a good (= careful) wash. Erik needed a good wash after playing in the garden.
the wash [S]
all the clothes, sheets, etc. that are washed together, especially in a washing machine: Can I put this shirt in (with) the white wash? "Where's my pink shirt?" "It's in the wash" (= being washed or in a pile of clothes that is going to be washed).
mainly US →  washing
have a wash UK
to wash your body or a part of it: I need to have a wash before dinner
do a wash UK
to clean clothes, sheets, etc., usually in a washing machine: Are you doing a wash tonight?
  • wash noun (THIN LAYER)

[C] a thin layer of water or paint mixed with water, especially one that is brushed lightly over a painting to make the lines softer: a blue wash/ a wash of blue Just before the paint dries, I give it a light wash.
(Definition of wash from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"wash" in American English

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washverb [I/T]

 us   /wɑʃ, wɔʃ/
to make something or yourself clean, or to become clean, using water and usually soap: [T] Alex washed his face and combed his hair. [T] I hate washing dishes.
(esp. of water) to flow or to cause to flow, often carrying something along: [I] Waves washed against the boat. [T] Heavy rains always wash the sand down the hill.
If something is washed away, it is carried off by heavy rain or a flood: [M] Even trees and cars were washed away in this flood.
If something washes up or washes ashore, water has moved it there: [M] That storm washed a lot of crabs up on the shore.

washnoun

 us   /wɑʃ, wɔʃ/
  • wash noun (NO CHANGE)

[C usually sing] an event or situation in which positive and negative things balance each other: I sold my car for about what it cost me, so it was a wash.
  • wash noun (CLEAN)

[C/U] an act of washing, or clothing, sheets, and other cloth items being cleaned together: [C usually sing] I went days without a wash or a change of clothes. [U] She did a load of wash and hung it up to dry.
(Definition of wash from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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