Definition of lash in English:


Line breaks: lash
Pronunciation: /laʃ


  • 2 [with object] (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, switch, whip, wave, wag
  • 2.1 [no object] (Of a part of an animal’s body) move quickly and violently: the cat’s tail lashed furiously from side to side
    More 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.


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  • 1A sharp blow or stroke with a whip or rope: 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, bang, thwack, thump
    informal swipe, wallop, whack
    archaic stripe
  • 1.1The flexible leather part of a whip, used for administering blows: he brought the lash down upon the prisoner’s back
    More 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, bullwhip, switch, scourge, flagellum, cat-o'-nine-tails, cat, thong, flail, strap, birch, cane
    historical 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.


be (or go) on the lash

British informal Be engaged in (or go on) a heavy drinking session.
More example sentences
  • Too many estate agents on the lash, getting their photos taken for the social page.
  • It can only be a matter of time he goes on the lash with Hitchens.
  • It'll be some local youngster who's parents have given the money to have a good night on the lash.

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

  • 2British Spend money extravagantly: I decided to lash out and treat myself 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.
    spend lavishly, be extravagant, pay out, spend a lot of money
    informal splash out, push the boat out, splurge, shell out, squander money, waste money, fritter money away, go on a spending spree, go on a shopping binge



More 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.


More 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.

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a small amount; a little