From Middle English laves, lavas, lavage (“extravagant, wasteful, prodigal”), from lavas (“excessive abundance”), from Old French lavasse, lavache (“torrent of rain”); possibly later conflated in some senses by Middle English laven (“to pour out”), equivalent to lave + -ish. Compare Scots lawage, lavisch, lavish (“unrestrained, excessively prodigal, extravagant”). Compare also English lavy (“lavish, liberal”), Dutch lafenis (“lavishness”).
lavish (comparative lavisher or more lavish, superlative lavishest or most lavish)
- Expending or bestowing profusely; profuse; prodigal.
- lavish of money; lavish of praise
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter VIII, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
- The day was cool and snappy for August, and the Rise all green with a lavish nature. Now we plunged into a deep shade with the boughs lacing each other overhead, and crossed dainty, rustic bridges over the cold trout-streams, the boards giving back the clatter of our horses' feet: […] .
- 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part II, London: Collins, →ISBN:
- Mind you, clothes were clothes in those days. There was a great deal of them, lavish both in material and in workmanship.
- Superabundant; excessive.
- lavish spirits
- lavish meal
- c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii]:
- Let her haue needfull, but not lauish meanes
- (obsolete) Unrestrained, impetuous.
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act III, scene iii:
- Thou wilt repent theſe lauiſh words of thine
- (expending profusely): profuse, prodigal, wasteful, extravagant, exuberant, immoderate, opulent
- See also Thesaurus:prodigal
lavish (third-person singular simple present lavishes, present participle lavishing, simple past and past participle lavished)
- (transitive) To give out extremely generously; to squander.
- They lavished money on the dinner.
- (transitive) To give out to (somebody) extremely generously.
- They lavished him with praise.
to expend or bestow with profusion; to squander
to give out to (somebody) extremely generously