Definition of lash in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /laSH/


[with object]
1Strike (someone) with a whip or stick: they lashed him repeatedly about the head
More example sentences
  • He was forced to farm Arab fields, tied at night, beaten and lashed with a whip for about a year.
  • When he was lashing me with his whip, it hurt a lot.
  • Lauren ignored him and picked up a whip, lashing him again and again until he opened a wound that went to bone.
whip, flog, flagellate, beat, thrash, horsewhip, scourge, birch, belt, strap, cane, switch;
strike, hit
informal wallop, whack, tan (someone's hide), larrup, whale
1.1Beat forcefully against (something): waves lashed the coast
More example sentences
  • Officials are warning of flash floods and mud slides, and the outer bands of Ivan are lashing Jamaica with torrential rain and huge waves.
  • In neighbouring Botswana torrential rains that have lashed the southern, central and eastern parts of the country are now moving towards tourist destinations in the west.
  • Richard walks along a barren Irish coast in the rain, waves lashing against his long black coat!
beat against, dash against, pound, batter, strike, hit, knock
1.2 (lash someone into) Drive someone into (a particular state or condition): fear lashed him into a frenzy
More example sentences
  • But it proved nothing more than a false note as they were lashed into submission by the boundary-belting cyclone that is Kevin Pietersen.
  • From the moment Zurawski lashed them into the lead in the 13 th minute, they were not in the remotest danger of dropping points, a fact that was not lost on the Aberdeen manager, Jimmy Calderwood.
  • Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
2(Of an animal) move (a part of the body, especially the tail) quickly and violently: the cat was lashing its tail back and forth
More example sentences
  • As much as we like to imagine sauropods stamping their feet and lashing their tails to drive off the vicious theropod predators, the scenario is unlikely for a simple reason.
  • Jinx realized with a shock that he was still in a predatory, feline crouch, lashing his tail agitatedly, the claws on his feet digging into the dirt.
  • He was behind me, still lashing his tail worriedly.
swish, flick, twitch, whip
2.1 [no object] (Of a part of the body) move quickly and violently.
Example sentences
  • Nogar snapped back, his tail lashing furiously.
  • Tail lashing furiously, Kobi stood in the same spot for a moment more.
  • Kobi was practically hissing at this point, his tail lashing furiously behind him.
3Fasten (something) securely with a cord or rope: the hatch was securely lashed down he lashed the flag to the mast
More example sentences
  • With much heaving and sweating, and a few choice cuss words, he got it wedged up under the axle, and, with the rope from his saddle, he lashed it securely in place.
  • I knew it was coming to rescue us so I took down the sail and mast, took up the centerboard and brought in the rudder and lashed it all secure.
  • Larger beams can be ‘stressed’ by lashing them with heavy chains.
fasten, bind, tie (up), tether, hitch, knot, rope, make fast


1A sharp blow or stroke with a whip or rope, typically given as a form of punishment: he was sentenced to fifty lashes for his crime figurative she felt the lash of my tongue
More example sentences
  • Women, as well as their accomplices, found guilty of this crime received fifty lashes.
  • Foreigners unfamiliar with local customs often find themselves tied to a post and receiving fifty lashes.
  • In support of his case, the elder of the two men claimed he'd been sentenced to 300 lashes and sacked from his job after raping several young men at his workplace.
stroke, blow, hit, strike, welt, thwack
archaic stripe
1.1The flexible leather part of a whip, used for administering lashes.
Example sentences
  • I looked up as he came closer, but Andreus coiled up the lash into a plaited leather loop and hit me across the back of the neck with it, forcing my eyes back down.
  • It is not frail and infirm, it is a fighting machine. Entrenched in filth in the centre of the aisle it will without warning extend its wooden lash and administer a swift but excruciating rap to the back of the legs.
  • My fingers are still dripping wet, but the handle to the lash is gripped to prevent it from slipping free from my slick, white scales.
1.2 (the lash) Punishment in the form of a beating with a whip or rope: they were living under the threat of the lash
More example sentences
  • Zhu Ke, the writer, said the substitution of the lash for crueler corporal punishments revealed a forward movement of civilization.
  • Masters served their slaves, accepting taunts and insults that would be punished by the lash or death any other time of year.
  • His convicts were more useful to society as workers than as objects of penal punishment; the lash became an element in labour relations.
whip, horsewhip, scourge, thong, flail, strap, birch, cane, switch
historical cat-o'-nine-tails, cat, knout
2 (usually lashes) An eyelash: she fluttered her long dark lashes
More example sentences
  • If you want to really get girly, use an eyelash curler for lusher-looking lashes.
  • There's nothing more ageing and unattractive than eyes framed by dark smudges or clogged lashes, so I've asked a couple of top make-up artists to share their secrets with us.
  • Speaking quietly, his huge chocolate-coloured eyes fringed by dark lashes, he looks the picture of peaceful, healthy youth.

Phrasal verbs


lash down

(Of rain) fall very heavily: torrential rain was lashing down
More example sentences
  • Thunder rolled in the distance, the rain lashed down.
  • The 12 th of November was bitterly cold with icy showers of rain lashing down over the City.
  • The main problem was the rain, which lashed down at around 6.30 am.

lash out

1Hit or kick out at someone or something: sticks with which to lash out and strike the prisoner
More example sentences
  • Aged about 12 or 13 years at most, the girl started screaming abuse, crying, lashing out with fists and kicking.
  • She would attack anyone who went into her field, kicking, biting, lashing out and rearing and the more people tried to frighten her away, the worse she became.
  • Twice, Freddy lashes out by silently kicking a brick wall.
1.1Attack someone verbally: he used his thank-you speech to lash out at critics
More example sentences
  • It frustrated her to a point where one day she had finally lashed out on him verbally, saying how his antics we're just driving her father and farther away from ever wanting to be with him again.
  • Her voice dripped with sarcasm as she verbally lashed out.
  • And I knew even if I verbally lashed out at him, Trey would still take it.
criticize, chastise, censure, attack, condemn, denounce, lambaste, rail at/against, harangue, pillory;
berate, upbraid, rebuke, reproach
informal lay into, tear into, blast
formal castigate
2British Spend money extravagantly: let’s lash out on a taxi
More example sentences
  • The other thing you both know is that, no matter how much you lash out on clothes, you'll lash out more on delicatessen.
  • Anyway, if you're in Australia, find a vendor, have a chat and lash out on a three dollar copy of the Big Issue - because it rocks.
  • I try to get my budgets right, but sometimes I just lash out the money and worry about balancing the books at a future date.



Pronunciation: /ˈlaSHər/
Example sentences
  • When I first began using the lasher it was to catch small roach, rudd and bream from the lakes at Longleat in Wiltshire whilst on holiday.


Example sentences
  • Salvador Dali, for instance, praised ‘the anaesthetic stare of the extremely clear eye - the lashless eye of Zeiss.’
  • They have brownish fur; large, dark, lashless eyes; short, bare ears; and a large, wet nose pad, like a pencil eraser on the tip of a long muzzle.
  • That summer his brown, very round, almost lashless eyes were barely able to contain some deep reservoir of feeling.


Middle English (in the sense 'make a sudden movement'): probably imitative.

Words that rhyme with lash

abash, ash, Ashe, bash, brash, cache, calash, cash, clash, crash, dash, encash, flash, gnash, hash, mash, Nash, panache, pash, plash, rash, sash, slash, smash, soutache, splash, stash, thrash, trash

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lash

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.