Definition of dash in English:


Line breaks: dash
Pronunciation: /daʃ


  • 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.
    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.
    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
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    • 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.
    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
    archaic bring to naught
  • 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.


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!


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  • 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.
    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.
    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.
  • 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.

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.
scribble, write hurriedly, write untidily, write illegibly, scratch, scrawl, doodle, jot (down)



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.


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

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