- 1 [transitive] to make something/somebody clean using water and usually soap wash something/somebody These jeans need washing. to wash the car to wash your hands Wash the fruit thoroughly before eating. wash something from something She washed the blood from his face. wash something/somebody + adj. The beach had been washed clean by the tide. Synonymscleanwash rinse cleanse dry-cleanThese words all mean to remove dirt from something, especially by using water and/or soap.clean to remove dirt or dust from something, especially by using water or chemicals:The villa is cleaned twice a week. Have you cleaned your teeth? This coat is filthy. I’ll have it cleaned (= dry-cleaned).wash to remove dirt from something using water and usually soap:He quickly washed his hands and face. These jeans need washing.rinse to remove dirt, etc. from something using clean water only, not soap; to remove the soap from something with clean water after washing it:Make sure you rinse all the soap out.cleanse to clean your skin or a wound.dry-clean to clean clothes using chemicals instead of water.Patterns to clean/wash/rinse/cleanse something in/with something to clean/wash/rinse something from something to clean/wash/cleanse a wound to clean/wash the car/floor to wash/rinse your hair to have something cleaned/washed/dry-cleaned
- 2 [intransitive, transitive] (especially British English) to make yourself clean using water and usually soap I washed and changed before going out. wash yourself She was no longer able to wash herself.
- 3[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) (of clothes, cloth, etc.) to be able to be washed without losing colour or being damaged This sweater washes well.
- 4[intransitive, transitive] (of water) to flow or carry something/somebody in a particular direction + adv./prep. Water washed over the deck. wash something/somebody + adv./prep. Pieces of the wreckage were washed ashore. He was washed overboard by a huge wave. Word Origin Old English wæscan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wassen, German waschen, also to water.Extra examples Hands need to be washed regularly with hot water. She gently washed and dressed the wound. the smell of freshly washed hair He always washes the car on Sundays. He quickly washed his hands and face. He washed his face. If you wash the dishes, I’ll dry. She washed out the empty bottles.Idioms (British English, disapproving) to discuss your personal affairs in public, especially something embarrassing to refuse to be responsible for or involved with somebody/something When her son was arrested again she washed her hands of him. I’ve washed my hands of the whole sordid business. used to say that somebody’s explanation, excuse, etc. is not valid or that you/somebody else will not accept it That excuse simply won't wash with me. Phrasal Verbswash away somebodywash somethingdown (with something)wash offwash somethingoff (something)wash outwash somethingoutwash over somebodywash upwash somethingup
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BrE BrE//wɒʃ//; NAmE NAmE//wɑːʃ//, NAmE//wɔːʃ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they wash
BrE BrE//wɒʃ//; NAmE NAmE//wɑːʃ//, NAmE//wɔːʃ//he / she / it washes
BrE BrE//ˈwɒʃɪz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɑːʃɪz//, NAmE//ˈwɔːʃɪz//past simple washed
BrE BrE//wɒʃt//; NAmE NAmE//wɑːʃt//, NAmE//wɔːʃt//past participle washed
BrE BrE//wɒʃt//; NAmE NAmE//wɑːʃt//, NAmE//wɔːʃt//-ing form washing
BrE BrE//ˈwɒʃɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɑːʃɪŋ//, NAmE//ˈwɔːʃɪŋ//