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)
- The thong or braided cord of a whip, with which the blow is given.
- 1711 July 15 (Gregorian calendar), Joseph Addison, Richard Steele [et al.], “WEDNESDAY, July 4, 1711”, in The Spectator, number 108; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, […], volume II, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, →OCLC:
- I observed that your whip wanted a lash to it.
- (obsolete) A leash in which an animal is caught or held; hence, a snare.
- A stroke with a whip, or anything pliant and tough, often given as a punishment.
- The culprit received thirty-nine lashes.
- A quick and violent sweeping movement, as of an animal's tail; a swish.
- A stroke of satire or sarcasm; an expression or retort that cuts or gives pain; a cut.
- 1692, Roger L’Estrange, “ (please specify the fable number.) (please specify the name of the fable.)”, in Fables, of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists: […], London: […] R[ichard] Sare, […], →OCLC:
- The moral is a lash at the vanity of arrogating that to ourselves which succeeds well.
- A hair growing from the edge of the eyelid; an eyelash.
- In carpet weaving, a group of strings for lifting simultaneously certain yarns, to form the figure.
- (Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, informal) An attempt; a go at something.
- Synonym: (UK) bash
- I'll have a lash.
- 2021 August 28, Grant Smithies, “The Dark Remains: Ian Rankin's 'terrifying' return”, in Stuff:
- Much-loved characters living on after their author’s death is not so unusual these days. Every second bloke in possession of a keyboard seems to have had a lash at a James Bond thriller, including Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Jeffery Deaver, William Boyd, Anthony Horowitz, Christopher Wood and Sebastian Faulks.
- (transitive) To strike with a lash; to whip or scourge with a lash, or with something like one.
- 1693, Decimus Junius Juvenalis, John Dryden, transl., “[The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis.] The First Satyr”, in The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis. Translated into English Verse. […] Together with the Satires of Aulus Persius Flaccus. […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson […], →OCLC:
- We lash the pupil, and defraud the ward
- (transitive) To strike forcibly and quickly, as with a lash; to beat, or beat upon, with a motion like that of a lash.
- (transitive) To throw out with a jerk or quickly.
- (transitive) To scold; or to satirize; to censure with severity.
- Synonym: berate
- (intransitive) To ply the whip; to strike.
- (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- (intransitive) To strike vigorously; to let fly.
- (intransitive) To utter censure or sarcastic language.
- 1693, Decimus Junius Juvenalis, John Dryden, transl., “[The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis.] The Fifth Satyr”, in The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis. Translated into English Verse. […] Together with the Satires of Aulus Persius Flaccus. […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson […], →OCLC:
- To laugh at follies, or to lash at vice.
- (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:
- 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.
- Used in phrasal verbs: lash back, lash out.
- (to whip or scourge): Thesaurus:whip
- (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
- (obsolete) Remiss, lax.
- (obsolete) Relaxed.
- Soft, watery, wet.
- 1658, Sir Thomas Browne, The Garden of Cyrus, Folio Society, published 2007, page 211:
- Fruits being unwholesome and lash before the fourth or fifth Yeare.
- (Ulster) Excellent, wonderful.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:excellent
- We’re off school tomorrow, it’s gonna be lash!
- That Chinese (food) was lash!
- (Britain) Drunk.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:drunk
- (machining, mechanical) Looseness between fitted parts, either intentional (as allowance) or unintentional (from error or wear).
- setting the proper valve lash for solid lifters
- excessive lash in the gear train
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 52