Alternative formsEdit


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).


  • IPA(key): /ˈlævɪʃ/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ævɪʃ


lavish (comparative lavisher or more lavish, superlative lavishest or most lavish)

  1. 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.
  2. Superabundant; excessive.
    lavish spirits
    lavish meal
  3. (obsolete) Unrestrained, impetuous.


Related termsEdit



lavish (third-person singular simple present lavishes, present participle lavishing, simple past and past participle lavished)

  1. (transitive) To give out extremely generously; to squander.
    They lavished money on the dinner.
  2. (transitive) To give out to (somebody) extremely generously.
    They lavished him with praise.

Derived termsEdit



lavish (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) Excessive abundance or expenditure, profusion, prodigality.