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Alternative forms[edit]


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:
      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 terms[edit]



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 terms[edit]



lavish (uncountable)

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