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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English lashe, lasshe, lasche (a stroke; the flexible end of a whip), related to 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)

  1. The thong or braided cord of a whip, with which the blow is given.
    • Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
      I observed that your whip wanted a lash to it.
  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.
    • Roger L'Estrange (1616-1704)
      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.
    We lash the pupil, and defraud the ward.John Dryden
  2. (transitive) To strike forcibly and quickly, as with a lash; to beat, or beat upon, with a motion like that of a lash.
    the whale lashes the sea with its tail.
    And big waves lash the frighted shores.John Dryden
    • 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.
    He falls, and lashing up his heels, his rider throws.John Dryden
  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.
    To laugh at follies, or to lash at vice.John Dryden
  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 also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

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 3[edit]

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: Fruits being unwholesome and lash before the fourth or fifth Yeare. — Sir Thomas Browne, The Garden of Cyrus (Folio Society 2007, p. 211)
  4. (Ulster) excellent, wonderful
    We’re off school tomorrow, it’s gonna be lash!
    That Chinese (food) was lash!
  5. Drunk.