- To eliminate, or destroy by fast moving water, such as in a flood, or a high sea.
2013 June 29, “High and wet”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 28:
- Floods in northern India, mostly in the small state of Uttarakhand, have wrought disaster on an enormous scale. The early, intense onset of the monsoon on June 14th swelled rivers, washing away roads, bridges, hotels and even whole villages. Rock-filled torrents smashed vehicles and homes, burying victims under rubble and sludge.
Thousands were left homeless as the flood waters washed away the eastern part of the city.
- (by extension) To eliminate, in a figurative sense.
This latest piece of information, if true, will wash away all doubt.
- 2014, Ian Jack, "Is this the end of Britishness", The Guardian, 16 September 2014:
- Why would this shared history be so easily washed away? In her introduction, Colley directed us away from the notion that nations were characterised by cultural and ethnic homogeneity – of “blood and soil” – and towards Benedict Anderson’s definition of a nation as an “imagined community”