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  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /læʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æʃ

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English lashe, lasshe, lasche (a stroke; the flexible end of a whip), from Proto-Germanic *laskô (flap of fabric, strap).
Cognate with Dutch lasch, las (a piece; seal; joint; notch; seam), German Low German Laske, Lask (a flap; dag; strap), German Lasche (a flap; joint; strap; tongue; scarf), Swedish lask (scarf), Icelandic laski (the bottom part of a glove).


lash (plural lashes)

drawing of a woman receiving a lash (3)
  1. The thong or braided cord of a whip, with which the blow is given.
  2. (obsolete) A leash in which an animal is caught or held; hence, a snare.
  3. A stroke with a whip, or anything pliant and tough.
    The culprit received thirty-nine lashes.
  4. A stroke of satire or sarcasm; an expression or retort that cuts or gives pain; a cut.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Roger L'Estrange
      The moral is a lash at the vanity of arrogating that to ourselves which succeeds well.
  5. A hair growing from the edge of the eyelid; an eyelash.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
      But Richmond, his grandfather's darling, after one thoughtful glance cast under his lashes at that uncompromising countenance appeared to lose himself in his own reflections.
  6. In carpet weaving, a group of strings for lifting simultaneously certain yarns, to form the figure.


lash (third-person singular simple present lashes, present participle lashing, simple past and past participle lashed)

  1. (transitive) To strike with a lash; to whip or scourge with a lash, or with something like one.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
      We lash the pupil, and defraud the ward.
  2. (transitive) To strike forcibly and quickly, as with a lash; to beat, or beat upon, with a motion like that of a lash.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
      The whale lashes the sea with its tail.
      And big waves lash the frighted shores.
    • 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1 - 0 Bolton”, in BBC[1]:
      Carlo Ancelotti's out-of-sorts team struggled to hit the target in the first half as Bolton threatened with Matthew Taylor lashing just wide.
  3. (transitive) To throw out with a jerk or quickly.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
      He falls, and lashing up his heels, his rider throws.
  4. (transitive) To scold; to berate; to satirize; to censure with severity.
    to lash vice
  5. (intransitive) To ply the whip; to strike.
  6. (intransitive) To utter censure or sarcastic language.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
      To laugh at follies, or to lash at vice.
  7. (intransitive, of rain) To fall heavily, especially in the phrase lash down
    • 2011 October 1, Tom Fordyce, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 16-12 Scotland”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      With rain lashing across the ground at kick-off and every man in Auckland seemingly either English-born or supporting Scotland, Eden Park was transformed into Murrayfield in March.

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle French lachier, from Old French lacier (to lace)


lash (third-person singular simple present lashes, present participle lashing, simple past and past participle lashed)

  1. (transitive) To bind with a rope, cord, thong, or chain, so as to fasten.
    to lash something to a spar
    lash a pack on a horse's back


Etymology 3Edit

From Old French lasche (French lâche).


lash (comparative more lash, superlative most lash)

  1. (obsolete) Remiss, lax.
  2. (obsolete) Relaxed.
  3. Soft, watery, wet.
    • 1658, Sir Thomas Browne, The Garden of Cyrus (Folio Society 2007, p. 211)
      Fruits being unwholesome and lash before the fourth or fifth Yeare.
  4. (Ulster) excellent, wonderful
    We’re off school tomorrow, it’s gonna be lash!
    That Chinese (food) was lash!
  5. (Britain) Drunk.