Definition of lather in English:


Syllabification: lath·er
Pronunciation: /ˈlaT͟Hər


1A frothy white mass of bubbles produced by soap or a similar cleansing substance when mixed with water.
More example sentences
  • Almost 60 per cent of water was wasted in washing of excess lather from the clothes.
  • He got the soap and began rubbing lather over her back.
  • I lather up soap in the shower and shave my head using that soap lather.
1.1Heavy sweat visible on a horse’s coat as a white foam.
More example sentences
  • White lather covered the horses' flanks and shoulders, but they tossed their heads energetically, eager to run so hard again - running was such fun for them!
  • Meadow's coat was a dull grey, covered with sweat, lather and blood.
  • Their steeds were coated in lather, after their wild run weaving between the tall ancient trees of Nevermore's forest.
1.2 (a lather) informal A state of agitation or nervous excitement: Larry was worked into a lather and shouted at the mayor
More example sentences
  • The soaring profits had the financial press in a lather of excitement.
  • More years ago than I care to remember, we worked ourselves into a lather of indignation in student meetings over multinationals, looted funds and bribery in Africa.
  • It was an unprecedented reaction to an evening out from Mike, so by the time we arrived on a Friday night in mid-May, I'd managed to work myself up into a lather of anticipation.
agitated, flustered, distressed, worked up, strung out, keyed up, in a state, in a tizzy, in a dither, in a twitter, upset


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1.1(With reference to soap or a similar cleansing substance) form or cause to form a frothy white mass of bubbles : [no object] soap will not lather in hard water
More example sentences
  • Remove shower cap and work copious amounts of shampoo through your hair before wetting, then lather well.
  • When heated and rubbed on gold, it lathers and removes dirt.
  • It smells good but doesn't lather thickly.
1.2 [with object] Rub soap onto (a part of the body) until a lather is produced: she was lathering herself languidly beneath the shower
More example sentences
  • Slowly, she lathered her body with the softly scented soap, watching as the water washed it away in rivulets down her arms.
  • Jess stepped into the shower and went straight for the soap, beginning to lather it over her body; a feeling of cleanliness washed over her almost immediately.
  • She grabbed the soap cake and began lathering it over her body.
1.3Cause (a horse) to become covered with sweat: his horse was lathered up by the end of the day
More example sentences
  • The horse was lathered with sweat, but still had more left.
  • The horse was lathered in sweat, nostrils flaring, gulping for breath.
  • The horses of the dozen riders were lathered, as they galloped across the drawbridge and into the fortress.
1.4 (lather something with) Cover something liberally with (a substance): she lathered a slice of toast with butter
More example sentences
  • On Sunday night after giving Leta a bath I lathered her chubby legs and belly with that lotion and I was instantly reminded of the hospital and the time I spent there.
  • I haven't been this burnt since my cousin Alice and I lathered our bellies with baby oil and lay out on the trampoline.
  • His golden hair wasn't lathered with gel, but rather stuck out in messy clumps, urging girls to run their fingers through the shiny tresses.
2 [with object] informal Thrash (someone).


Old English læthor (denoting washing soda or its froth), lēthran (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse lauthr (noun), from an Indo-European root shared by Greek loutron 'bath'.



More example sentences
  • The thickened root, a rhizome, can be beaten into a lathery pulp which can be used for soap and shampoo.
  • This lathery and luxurious 8 oz. bottle of shower gel is sure to help cleanse and nourish your skin.
  • Forget the skin drying messiness of foams and lathery gels and the nicks, cuts, shave bumps and irritation.

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