1. To cleanse by ablution, or dipping or rubbing in water; to apply water or other liquid to for the purpose of cleansing; to scrub with water, etc, or as with water; as, to wash the hands or body; to wash garments; to wash sheep or wool; to wash the pavement or floor; to wash the bark of trees. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, . . . He took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person. (Matt. Xxvii. 24)
2. To cover with water or any liquid; to wet; to fall on and moisten; hence, to overflow or dash against; as, waves wash the shore. Fresh blown roses washed with dew. (milton) [The landscape] washed with a cold, gray mist. (Longfellow)
4. To remove by washing to take away by, or as by, the action of water; to drag or draw off as by the tide; often with away, off, out, etc.; as, to wash dirt from the hands. Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins. (acts xxii. 16) The tide will wash you off. (Shak)
6. To overlay with a thin coat 1000 of metal; as, steel washed with silver. To wash gold, etc, to treat earth or gravel, or crushed ore, with water, in order to separate the gold or other metal, or metallic ore, through their superior gravity. To wash the hands of. See Hand.
Origin: OE. Waschen, AS. Wascan; akin to D. Wasschen, G. Waschen, OHG. Wascan, Icel. & Sw. Vaska, Dan. Vaske, and perhaps to E. Water.
2. A piece of ground washed by the action of a sea or river, or sometimes covered and sometimes left dry; the shallowest part of a river, or arm of the sea; also, a bog; a marsh; a fen; as, the washes in Lincolnshire. The Wash of Edmonton so gay. These Lincoln washes have devoured them. (Shak)
3. Substances collected and deposited by the action of water; as, the wash of a sewer, of a river, etc. The wash of pastures, fields, commons, and roads, where rain water hath a long time settled. (Mortimer)
(Science: chemistry) Wash barrel A bottle partially filled with some liquid through which gases are passed for the purpose of purifying them, especially by removing soluble constituents. A washing bottle. See Washing. Wash gilding. See water gilding. Wash leather, split sheepskin dressed with oil, in imitation of chamois, or shammy, and used for dusting, cleaning glass or plate, etc.; also, alumed, or buff, leather for soldiers' belts.