lather

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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 *lówh₃trom (that which is used for washing), from *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 (I wash), Albanian laj (I wash), Ancient Greek λούω (loúō). More at lye.

Noun[edit]

lather (countable and uncountable, plural lathers)

  1. (countable, uncountable) The foam made by rapidly stirring soap and water.
  2. (countable, uncountable) Foam from profuse sweating, as of a horse.
  3. (countable) A state of agitation.
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Etymology 2[edit]

From 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.

Verb[edit]

lather (third-person singular simple present lathers, present participle lathering, simple past and past participle lathered)

  1. (transitive) To cover with lather.
    The young woman lathered her breasts with lavender-scented soap.
  2. (transitive) To beat or whip.
  3. (intransitive) To form lather or froth, as a horse does when profusely sweating.
    • 1997, Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin, transl., The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.; republished New York: Vintage Books, 1998, →ISBN, page 147:
      I woke Corporal Honda to see to the horse. Heavily lathered and breathing hard, it had obviously come a long way at high speed.
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