From Middle English lather, from Old English lēaþor (“a kind of niter used for soap, soda”), from Proto-Germanic *lauþrą (“that which is used for washing, soap”), from Proto-Indo-European *lowʰ₃-tro- (“that which is used for washing”), from Proto-Indo-European *lawe-, *lewh₃-, *lowh₃- (“to wash, bathe”). Cognate with Swedish lödder (“lather, foam, froth, soap”), Icelandic löður (“foam, froth, a kind of niter used for soap”), Old Irish lóathar (“wash-basin”), Ancient Greek λουτρόν (loutrón, “a bath, wash-room”), Latin lavō (“wash”), Albanian laj (“I wash”), Ancient Greek λούω (loúō). More at lye.
lather (countable and uncountable, plural lathers)
- The foam made by rapidly stirring soap and water.
- Foam from profuse sweating, as of a horse.
- A state of agitation.
foam of soap and water
- Catalan: sabonera f
- Mandarin: 泡沫兒 (zh), 泡沫儿 (zh) (pàomòr)
- Dutch: sop (nl) n, zeepsop (nl) n, schuim (nl) n
- Esperanto: sapŝaŭmo
- Finnish: saippuavaahto (fi)
- French: mousse de savon f
- Galician: escuma (gl) f, espuma f
- German: Seifenschaum m
- Hungarian: szappanhab
- Italian: schiuma di sapone f
- Japanese: 泡 (ja) (あわ, awa, あぶく, abuku), 泡沫 (ja) (ほうまつ, hōmatsu, うたかた, utakata)
- Korean: 비누 거품 (binu geopum)
foam from profuse sweating
Frm Middle English *lethren, from Old English lēþrian, lȳþrian, *līeþrian (“to anoint, smear, lather”), from Old English lēaþor (“a kind of niter used for soap, soda”). See above.
lather (third-person singular simple present lathers, present participle lathering, simple past and past participle lathered)
- (transitive) To cover with lather.
- (transitive) To beat or whip.
- (intransitive) To form lather or froth, as a horse does when profusely sweating.