Definition of dash in English:

dash

Line breaks: dash
Pronunciation: /daʃ
 
/

verb

1 [no object, usually with adverbial of direction] Run or travel somewhere in a great hurry: I dashed into the garden I must dash, I’m late
More example sentences
  • Other people could be seen on the streets now, hurrying animals that dashed in and out of store to cars or homes, getting what needed to be done, done.
  • He quickly swept his daughter into his arms, grabbed his travel bag and dashed towards the open door and into the chaos of the ship.
  • Drew and Seigi dashed out and hurried towards their fathers, calling and laughing as they ran.
Synonyms
rush, race, run, sprint, bolt, dart, gallop, career, charge, shoot, hurtle, hare, bound, fly, speed, streak, zoom, plunge, dive, whisk, scurry, scuttle, scamper, scramble
informal tear, belt, pelt, scoot, zap, zip, whip, step on it, get a move on, hotfoot it, leg it, go hell for leather, steam, put on some speed, go like a bat out of hell, burn rubber
British informal bomb, go like the clappers, bucket, put one's foot down
Scottish informal wheech
North American informal boogie, hightail it, clip, barrel, get the lead out
informal , dated cut along
North American vulgar slang drag/tear/haul ass
literary fleet
archaic post, hie, haste
2 [with object and adverbial of direction] Strike or fling (something) somewhere with great force, especially so as to have a destructive effect; hurl: the ship was dashed upon the rocks
More example sentences
  • Ah, how the heady idealism of youth is dashed upon the rocks of the pragmatism of adulthood.
  • Bearded vultures are the only living birds known to access bone marrow, which they do by dashing bones onto rocks from great heights.
  • A predatory fish may eat it, or a strong current may dash it against a rock.
Synonyms
hurl, smash, crash, slam, throw, toss, fling, pitch, cast, lob, launch, flip, catapult, shy, aim, direct, project, propel, send, bowl
informal chuck, heave, sling, buzz, whang, bung
North American informal peg
Australian informal hoy
New Zealand informal bish
2.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Strike forcefully against something: a gust of rain dashed against the bricks
More example sentences
  • It's a dirty old night out there, wind howling, rain dashing against the windows, not at all the kind of night to move far from the fireside.
  • Not proper rain, not good rain - but a light, spitting rain that came dashing down from the peaks and was too cold to make the grass grow.
Synonyms
be hurled, crash, smash; batter, strike, beat, pound, pummel, lash, slam into
2.2 [with object] Destroy or frustrate (hopes or expectations): the budget dashed hopes of an increase in funding
More example sentences
  • Hopes have been dashed for all 38 employees of the ill-fated car dealership DC Cook with the announcement that they are being made redundant.
  • Lauren, who has been dancing since she was just three years-old, hopes to become a professional dancer, but knows her hopes will be dashed if the course shuts.
  • The year 2000 started out full of hope for all of us but, sadly, during the course of the past year for the farming community many of those hopes have already been dashed.
Synonyms
shatter, destroy, wreck, ruin, crush, devastate, demolish, wreak havoc with, blast, blight, wipe out, overturn, torpedo, scotch, spoil, frustrate, thwart, baulk, check; burst someone's bubble
informal put the kibosh on, banjax, do for, blow a hole in, nix, put paid to, queer
British informal scupper, dish
2.3 [with object] Cause (someone) to lose confidence; dispirit: I won’t tell Stuart—I think he’d be dashed
More example sentences
  • This rather dashed me, though he doesn't know that I am a diarist, and is probably unaware that I am somewhat simple-minded.

exclamation

British informal Back to top  
Used to express mild annoyance: dash it all, I am in charge
More example sentences
  • Oh dash it... I think I got a problem!

noun

Back to top  
1An act of running somewhere suddenly and hastily: she made a dash for the door
More example sentences
  • The new initiative comes just months after a defendant leapt over the dock at Southend court and made a dash for freedom.
  • I made a dash for the door, and as I did I triggered the electronic video sensors at the store entrance, which wailed tumultuously as I broke out onto the street.
  • I autographed some books, including McTeer's, posed for a few photos, and, running late for my plane, made a dash for the exit.
1.1A journey or period of time characterized by urgency or eager haste: a 20-mile dash to the airport
More example sentences
  • Monday night consisted of a mad dash to Miami airport and a flight up to Orlando where the serious work began.
  • It's good to have a garden in which to potter, that's for sure, and potter is most of what I've done today, apart from a mad dash out to collect my pension and have a fish-and-chips lunch.
  • The Warriors players were hand-picked for the advert after weeks of selection procedures which ended with a mad dash to the final audition straight after a game.
1.2North American A short, fast race run in one heat; a sprint: the 100 m dash
More example sentences
  • He runs the fastest 40-yard dash of any defensive tackle, 4.85 seconds.
  • Mornings can feel like a 50-yard dash, racing from the gym to the kids' school to the workplace.
  • The country's leading sprinters kick off the heats with the 50m dash - a tough line-up to just make the semi-final among the men.
Synonyms
rush, race, run, sprint, bolt, dart, leap, charge, plunge, dive, bound, break, scamper, scramble; stampede
2A small quantity of a liquid added to something else: whisky with a dash of soda
More example sentences
  • Develop/wash in a flat-bottomed tray containing water with a dash of washing-up liquid added.
  • The dip, composed of vinegar, a splash of soy sauce and a dash of red chili, could use a certain extra something to give it more of a zing, as the roll was in need of a little something to wake up the taste buds.
  • A Mochatail for those daring enough to drink one is a dash of espresso coffee, sprinkled with chocolate cookie, topped with whipped cream.
2.1A small amount of a quality that adds piquancy or distinctiveness to something else: a casual atmosphere with a dash of sophistication
More example sentences
  • All that is charming about Australian wine, with a dash of sophistication.
  • Like many a group before them, they had met at art school, and not surprisingly they added a dash of colour to both their image and music.
  • The meet and the hunt provided a dash of colour in the lives of all during the otherwise drab British winter.
Synonyms
small amount, touch, sprinkle, pinch, taste, lick, spot, drop, dab, speck, smack, smattering, sprinkling, splash, dribble, trickle, grain, soupçon, trace, bit, modicum, little, suggestion, suspicion, hint, scintilla, tinge, tincture, whiff, whisper, overtone, undertone, nuance, colouring
informal smidgen, tad
3A horizontal stroke in writing or printing to mark a pause or break in sense or to represent omitted letters or words.
More example sentences
  • This book's a success, it's true, even though it's about commas, apostrophes, colons, dashes and other marks.
  • In less formal writing, the dash is often a catch-all mark to take the place of both colon and semicolon, obviating the need to distinguish them or think about more subtle kinds of punctuation.
  • Their use of the dash in the letters seems consistent with its use in much nineteenth - century correspondence.
3.1The longer signal of the two used in Morse code. Compare with dot1.
More example sentences
  • Today, when we think of telegraphs we think of electric telegraphs, we think of wires and Morse code and dots and dashes and telegrams and that sort of thing.
  • Both transmitted in simplified Morse code, one solely dots, the other solely dashes.
  • Morse Code uses a series of dots and dashes to transmit and receive messages.
3.2 Music A short vertical mark placed above or beneath a note to indicate that it is to be performed in a very staccato manner.
More example sentences
  • The composer's intentions may be notated as dots, dashes, accents, and slurs.
4 [mass noun] Impetuous or flamboyant vigour and confidence; panache: he has youthful energy, dash, and charisma
More example sentences
  • Brimming with this new dash of energy, Darteil just needed one more psychological push.
  • It is these characteristics that give these Mozart performances, with the violinist doubling as soloist and director of the OAE, such dash and vitality.
  • If the winners emerge with some dash in their style, they may also have to contend with being All-Ireland favourites.
Synonyms
5 informal short for dashboard. an indicator on the dash tells you what gear you are in
More example sentences
  • This is enlivened by Mondial blue flourishes on the dash, sports steering wheel and gearstick, and the same drilled aluminium pedals as the 172.
  • Wash and polish the bodywork, clean and polish the wheels to get rid of any engrained brake dust, vacuum and shampoo the interior and give the dash and steering wheel a good buffing.
  • The steering wheel and the dash are also made of the light and very strong material which has been used in Formula one since 1988.

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'strike forcibly against'): probably symbolic of forceful movement and related to Swedish and Danish daska.

Phrasal verbs

dash something off

Write something hurriedly and without much premeditation: I dashed off a quick letter
More example sentences
  • We were confronted by a row of little pictures that not only looked as though they had been dashed off at high speed, but plainly were considered by their makers to be complete.
  • The excuse for churning out a far less funny film, it seemed, was simple: ‘We just dashed it off.’
  • I tend to dash things off without thinking so much.
Synonyms
scribble, write hurriedly, write untidily, write illegibly, scratch, scrawl, doodle, jot (down)

Derivatives

dasher

noun
More example sentences
  • But I was a dasher through and through, and anything beyond a quarter mile nearly killed me.
  • So, a small tip for the road rage - or should I say aisle rage trolley dashers - is to, next year, calm down a little.
  • Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds are both unreliable dashers, and West Indies can afford only one such player at the top.

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