From Middle English rash, rasch (“hasty, headstrong”), from Old English *ræsc ("rash"; found in derivatives: ræscan (“to move rapidly, flicker, flash, quiver, glitter”), ræscettan (“to crackle, sparkle”), etc.), from Proto-Germanic *raskaz, *raskuz, *raþskaz, *raþskuz (“rash, rapid”), from Proto-Indo-European *ret- (“to run, roll”). Cognate with Dutch rasch, ras (“rash, snell”), Middle Low German rasch (“rash”), German rasch (“rash, swift”), Swedish rask (“brisk, quick, rash”), Icelandic röskur (“strong, vigorous”).
- Acting too quickly without considering the risks and consequences; not careful; hasty.
- rash words spoken in the heat of debate
- So dry as to fall out of the ear with handling, as corn.
- (obsolete) Requiring sudden action; pressing; urgent.
- c. 1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Troylus and Cressida”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene ii]:
- I scarce have leisure to salute you, / My matter is so rash.
- (obsolete) Fast-acting.
- c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, 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 IV, scene iii]:
- Strong as aconitum or rash gunpowder.
rash (plural rashes)
- (medicine) An area of reddened, irritated, and inflamed skin.
- A surge in problems; a spate, string or trend.
- There has been a rash of vandalism lately.
- 2019 April 25, Samanth Subramanian, “Hand dryers v paper towels: the surprisingly dirty fight for the right to dry your hands”, in The Guardian:
- Science has tried and failed to come to a consensus about the hygienic superiority of one product over the other. Even so, the paper towel industry has funded or promoted a rash of studies claiming that hand dryers turn bathrooms into mosh pits of pathogens.
- (a surge in problems): epidemic
- An inferior kind of silk, or mixture of silk and worsted.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of John Donne to this entry?)
- rash in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- rash in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- “rash”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.