From Middle English lusch (“slack, relaxed, limp, loose”), from Old English *lysc, *lesc (“slack; limp”), from Proto-Germanic *laskwaz (“weak, false, feeble”), from Proto-Indo-European *lēy- (“to let; leave behind”). Akin to Old English lysu, lesu (“false, evil, base”), Middle Low German lasch (“slack”), Middle High German erleswen (“to become weak”), Old Norse lǫskr (“weak, feeble”), Gothic 𐌻𐌰𐍃𐌹𐍅𐍃 (lasiws, “weak, feeble”), Middle Low German las, lasich (“slack, languid, idle”), Low German lusch (“loose”). Doublet of lusk. More at lishey, lazy.
- (obsolete) Lax; slack; limp; flexible.
- (dialectal) Mellow; soft; (of ground or soil) easily turned; fertile.
- Juicy, succulent.
- 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i], page 6:
- How luſh and luſty the graſſe lookes ? How greene ?
- (of vegetation) Dense, teeming with life; luxuriant.
- 2006, Stefani Jackenthal, New York Times:
- Some of the world’s best rain forest and volcanic hiking can be found within the lush canopied Caribbean trail systems. Chock-full of waterfalls and hot springs, bright-colored birds and howling monkeys, flora-lined trails cut through thick, fragrant forests and up cloud-covered mountains.
- 2013 January 1, Nancy Langston, “The Fraught History of a Watery World”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 1, page 59:
- European adventurers found themselves within a watery world, a tapestry of streams, channels, wetlands, lakes and lush riparian meadows enriched by floodwaters from the Mississippi River.
- (of food) Savoury, delicious.
- That meal was lush! We have to go that restaurant again sometime!
- (miscellaneous) Thriving; rife; sumptuous.
- 2005, Donald Hall, The Best Day the Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, →ISBN, page 105:
- They rolled into Jane's room a wheeled cart lush with cake and cookies and shrimp and crudités and pop and soda water. The staff was giving us a going-away party for our trip to Seattle; it was good to understand their confidence.
- (Britain, slang) Beautiful, sexy.
- Boys with long hair are lush!
- (Britain, Canada, slang) Amazing, cool, fantastic, wicked.
- Your voice is lush, Lucy! I could listen to it all day!
Perhaps a humorous use of the preceding word, or perhaps from Shelta lush (“food and drink”) (the sense "liquor" is older than the sense "drinker"). The Century Dictionary wrote that it was "said to be so called from one Lushington, a once well-known London brewer", but the Online Etymology Dictionary considers lushington (“drinker”) a humorous extension of lush instead.
- (slang, derogatory) Drunkard, sot, alcoholic.
- (slang) Intoxicating liquor.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:alcoholic beverage
- 1841, Charles Lever, Charles O'Malley
- If your care comes, in the liquor sink it, / Pass along the lush — I'm the boy can drink it.
- (Hawaii, Pidgin, slang) A person who enjoys talking about themselves