wash Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Definition of “wash” - English Dictionary

"wash" in American English

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washverb [I/T]

 us   /wɑʃ, wɔʃ/

wash verb [I/T] (CLEAN)

to make something or yourself ​clean, or to ​becomeclean, using ​water and usually ​soap: [T] Alex washed his ​face and ​combed his ​hair. [T] I ​hate washing ​dishes.

wash verb [I/T] (FLOW)

(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 ​heavyrain 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.


 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 ​clothitems 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)

"wash" in British English

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uk   /wɒʃ/  us   /wɑːʃ/

wash verb (CLEAN)

A1 [T] to ​clean something using ​water: wash ​yourhair/​hands wash the ​car/​clothes/​floor These ​sheets need washing. I'll wash the ​bottle out (= ​cleanits 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 ​particularmaterial or ​piece of ​clothing washes well, it is not ​damaged or ​spoiled by ​repeated washing.
More 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 ​tiredfeet.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 ​deaddolphins had been washed ​ashore. A ​Spanishcrewmember had been washed ​overboard (= ​carried off a ​ship into the ​sea by the ​force of the ​water) in the ​storm.


uk   /wɒʃ/  us   /wɑːʃ/

wash noun (CLEANING)

A2 [C usually singular] the ​action of washing something or a ​part of ​yourbody: 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 ​pinkshirt?" "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 ​yourbody or a ​part of it: I need to have a wash before ​dinnerdo a wash UK to ​cleanclothes, ​sheets, etc., usually in a washing ​machine: Are you doing a wash ​tonight?

wash noun (THIN LAYER)

[C] a ​thinlayer of ​water or ​paintmixed with ​water, ​especially one that is ​brushedlightly over a ​painting to make the ​linessofter: a ​blue wash/ a wash ofblue Just before the ​paintdries, I give it a ​light wash.

wash noun (EVEN SITUATION)

[C usually singular] US an ​event or ​situation in which ​positive and ​negative things ​balance each other: If ​pollutioncontrols are ​enforced here, the ​factories will ​move to where they're ​allowed to ​pollute, so it'll be a wash as ​far as ​clearair goes.

wash noun (FLOW)

[S] literary (the ​sound made) when the ​seamoves against ​land, etc.: Outside the ​house, she could ​hear the ​gentle wash of the ​waves on the ​beach.
(Definition of wash from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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