Definition of lash in English:



  • 1[with object] Strike or beat with a whip or stick.

    ‘they lashed him repeatedly about the head’
    • ‘We wanted these manipulative girls and violent boys to be unwashed for a year, unfed for a month, to be lashed, strapped, coshed and whacked.’
    • ‘Women have been lashed for not being properly clothed - for wearing thin socks or brightly coloured shoes - and jailed for speaking to men on the streets.’
    • ‘He still looked as though he'd been lashed by a whip, and he was sitting motionless behind the front desk.’
    • ‘On another occasion he attacked a journalist who had given him a bad review, bursting into his office and lashing him with a bullwhip.’
    • ‘Lauren ignored him and picked up a whip, lashing him again and again until he opened a wound that went to bone.’
    • ‘This girl wasn't carrying purse or mobile, so to teach her a lesson, the motorbike riders brutally lashed her across the back with a leather belt when going past!’
    • ‘In one instance, they entered a student dormitory brandishing clubs and lashing students with chains.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Under six years of Islamic fundamentalist rule, Qadratullah was lashed for failing to grow a beard and his wife was beaten for not wearing the all-enveloping burqa.’
    • ‘He lashes Tom across the face with a cowhide and strikes him several times, then asks Tom again if he will do it.’
    • ‘Anything less than that could result in a whipping, and no one wanted to be bent over the knee of old Grandfather Windom and be lashed with his belt at the age of eighteen.’
    • ‘I quickly went to see what the commotion was about and saw that my teacher was soundly lashing a young boy, stripped naked and wrists bound to a column so that he wouldn't escape.’
    • ‘And we had a couple of Brothers who were pretty generous in lashing us with a cane.’
    • ‘Katie's mother screamed, pulling the whip back to lash Katie.’
    whip, flog, beat, thrash, horsewhip, scourge, birch, switch, flay, belt, strap, cane, leather
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    1. 1.1Beat forcefully against.
      ‘waves lashed the coast’
      • ‘Forecasters said it would lash the shores with strong winds, up to 10 inches of rain and waves up to 20 feet.’
      • ‘Gales and rain lashed Bolton over the weekend, leaving householders with repair bills running into thousands of pounds.’
      • ‘The gloomy picture emerged as heavy rain lashed the UK and isolated areas in parts of the country were warned to expect flooding.’
      • ‘Richard walks along a barren Irish coast in the rain, waves lashing against his long black coat!’
      • ‘Flood hell… gale-force winds lashed the reservoir by the top of Blackstone Edge during a fierce storm in 1974, with nearly an inch of rain falling over the weekend.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Officials are warning of flash floods and mud slides, and the outer bands of Ivan are lashing Jamaica with torrential rain and huge waves.’
      • ‘Despite gale force winds lashing the Oaks complex on Sunday weights were still well spread around the 64-field on Cedar Lake.’
      • ‘Nearly 100 trees were uprooted and branches of over 800 trees were severed due to gusty winds and heavy rains that lashed the City recently.’
      • ‘Wilma lashed Key West with 120-mile-an-hour winds for two hours and left much of the island under more than three feet of water.’
      • ‘And speaking of mud, the festival mercifully escaped the rain that was lashing York.’
      • ‘As a biting wind lashed Kirkgate and the rain fell from a grey, overcast sky, ordinary people thankful for the extraordinary courage of their police joined officers to pay their respects.’
      • ‘The heavy rains lashing the City since Saturday have left a wide swathe of death and destruction.’
      • ‘Hurricane Emily will be lashing us with rain about the time that I should be doing my Pilates class tomorrow.’
      • ‘Hurricane Dean has been upgraded to a category-five storm as it begins lashing the coast of northern Mexico with winds exceeding 150 mph.’
      • ‘Those winds will whip or lash coastal communities and batter barrier islands along the mid-Atlantic.’
      • ‘And then, Hurricane Ivan has lashed the Caribbean.’
      • ‘Meanwhile the city saw the usual chaos on the streets as rains lashed the Capital.’
      • ‘The next item of excitement was the sudden rain that lashed the Montreal circuit.’
      • ‘Rita is expected to become a hurricane before lashing the Keys sometime tomorrow and then power its way into the Gulf of Mexico.’
      beat against, dash against, crash against, pound, batter, buffet, smack against, strike, hit, knock
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    2. 1.2Drive someone into (a particular state or condition)
      ‘fear lashed him into a frenzy’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘But it proved nothing more than a false note as they were lashed into submission by the boundary-belting cyclone that is Kevin Pietersen.’
      provoke, incite, arouse, excite, agitate, stir up, whip up, work up, egg on, goad
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  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He lashed his tail from side to side, as he closed his eyes and took off blindly.’
    • ‘The small dragon was sitting on the bed and lashing her tail as if she was infuriated.’
    • ‘Then she lashed her tail around and commenced preening it.’
    • ‘He was behind me, still lashing his tail worriedly.’
    • ‘Shishi snarled and lashed her tail with frustration.’
    • ‘Jinx kept pacing, lashing his tail in agitation, and Elanor's eyes followed him wherever he went, though her head was frozen in place.’
    • ‘But as quick as he had lashed his tail out he sprung it forward toward Victor.’
    • ‘The Brawlers scowled viciously at the stationary pair as they sped forward, their serpents lashing their tails and hissing.’
    • ‘The salamander lashed its tail like a whip and vanished.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With that, Jinx waved desperately and lashed his tail and laid his ears back in a picture of agitation.’
    swish, flick, twitch, switch, whip, wave, wag
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    1. 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’
      • ‘His great tail lashed out in fury, destroying the great eastern tower.’
      • ‘Nogar snapped back, his tail lashing furiously.’
      • ‘He cracked a grin, but was shocked when Kate's other hand suddenly lashed across, smacking him in the side of the face.’
      • ‘His tail lashed, once, violently, but his gaze did not drop or turn away.’
      • ‘Ron's fist lashed up into Jim's side, causing him to lean forward enough that Ron was able to drive his head into Jim's face.’
      • ‘Now she was pacing on the shore, stepping awkwardly on the rocks while her tail lashed 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.’
      • ‘My ears were down, my tail lashing in anger.’
      • ‘His tail is lashing wildly, as he eyes me coldly with a predatory stare, and snarls loudly.’
      • ‘My tail lashed from side to side as I began to feel the hunger and bloodlust of the panther rise to meet my own senses.’
      • ‘Then it moved towards the exit from the chamber, tail lashing and legs growing firmer and firmer the faster it walked.’
      • ‘Her shadow flickered across the wall behind her, tail lashing in disquiet, inhuman muscles shifting as she moved.’
  • 3[with object and adverbial] Fasten (something) securely with a cord or rope.

    ‘the hatch was securely lashed down’
    ‘he lashed the flag to the mast’
    • ‘On the way they were forced to step over several supply crates, moved to create extra accommodation spaces, which had been lashed to the deck and covered with floorboards.’
    • ‘The rope was lashed to a wooden beam propping up the craft's skeleton in a manner meant to evoke the contraptions that Chinese children use to catch birds.’
    • ‘Owing to the steep slope of Quebec roofs, the men must lash themselves to the chimney pots to move about.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Larger beams can be ‘stressed’ by lashing them with heavy chains.’
    • ‘Kate nodded and quickly saddled her mare and lashed her pack securely onto the saddle.’
    • ‘They were propped up in the crotch of two sticks that were lashed together with a car battery attached to their primers.’
    • ‘As the sun sets, Saranne, David, and I stop in a patch of shorter grass, lashing our canoes together and laying plywood boards over them.’
    • ‘His wrists ached as the rough rope cut into them and even his ankles were lashed together tightly with no room to spare.’
    • ‘She thrashed around sending the flows everywhere, before they suddenly loosened and disappeared into thin air but there were to many of them and they overwhelmed her, lashing her feet to the earth and binding her arms.’
    • ‘Alec Danfoss, who farmed land not a kilometre from Karsten had placed his children, Jenny and Julia the six year old twins, and their eight year tainted brother Randall, into his dingy and lashed it to the back of his ox cart.’
    • ‘Reed did a bit of quick carpentry to repair the breaks, lashing them back together with something the Vikings could have used, duct tape.’
    • ‘Kay called, and within a matter of seconds the two vessels were lashed together.’
    • ‘But alas, they got into a massive storm; he lashed her to the mast so that she wouldn't be thrown overboard.’
    • ‘He tied the man to the driver seat using some rope in the glove compartment and lashed his hands to the steering wheel.’
    • ‘Ryan lashes the board down, outside his beach hut in Obama.’
    • ‘Two backboards were lashed together, and he was secured to them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She found the lack of a table very frustrating, and she eventually made her own one by lashing together a door frame and pieces of bamboo.’
    fasten, bind, tie, tie up, tether, hitch, attach, knot, rope, strap, leash, truss, fetter, make fast, secure
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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’
    • ‘Sancho resigns himself and agrees to the task on the condition that he is not required to draw blood with these whippings and that gentle lashes count too.’
    • ‘Even asking questions in class warranted a lash of the whip.’
    • ‘She had received thirty lashes and a blow to the face.’
    • ‘She gave birth when aged nine and was sentenced to 100 lashes for prostitution at about the same time.’
    • ‘Women, as well as their accomplices, found guilty of this crime received fifty lashes.’
    • ‘Ten lashes of the stock whip got the message across to me.’
    • ‘It only lasted 10 lashes before the whip went through.’
    • ‘For lesbian conduct the penalty is 100 lashes from a whip.’
    • ‘Later that day during roll call, Elie's number is called and he is given twenty-five lashes of the whip.’
    • ‘Foreigners unfamiliar with local customs often find themselves tied to a post and receiving fifty lashes.’
    • ‘No one was ever sentenced to 500 lashes for anything during the period of the rightly guided caliphs.’
    • ‘Two popular soccer players were sentenced to 170 lashes last month after they were arrested at a brothel.’
    • ‘The young man who was arrested with her was sentenced to 100 lashes and allowed to go free afterwards.’
    • ‘I hereby sentence you, not to death, but to thirty lashes of the whip.’
    • ‘But, as it was a national holiday, the Sheikh decided they should be released after receiving 20 lashes of the whip.’
    • ‘The continuous running is hard on the hobbits, but the orcs persuade them with lashes from a whip.’
    • ‘As a result he received thirty-nine lashes for a crime for which many were transported or executed.’
    • ‘But the court clerk who read out the official sentence told reporters none of the accused had been sentenced to lashes.’
    • ‘I circled in the air, taunting her with lashes from my whip.’
    • ‘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
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    1. 1.1The flexible leather part of a whip, used for administering blows.
      ‘he brought the lash down upon the prisoner's back’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now before you sneer and condemn me to 1,000 strokes of the lash, let me tell you about a little experience I had recently.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A single lash emerged from the ebony handle, but it had been wickedly inlaid with tiny adamantine barbs.’
      • ‘His voice was cool and Andreus raised the lash again threateningly, but was ordered to lower it.’
      • ‘A lash, also of flax, was then attached and the whip was finished.’
      whip, scourge, cat, thong, switch, birch, cane, stick
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    2. 1.2Punishment in the form of a beating with a whip or rope.
      ‘they were living under the threat of the lash’
      • ‘Masters served their slaves, accepting taunts and insults that would be punished by the lash or death any other time of year.’
      • ‘Zhu Ke, the writer, said the substitution of the lash for crueler corporal punishments revealed a forward movement of civilization.’
      • ‘I think the latest from her is to bring back the lash.’
      • ‘Bring back the lash, and thumbscrews and the oubliette.’
      • ‘His convicts were more useful to society as workers than as objects of penal punishment; the lash became an element in labour relations.’
      • ‘A government official last year called for a return of the lash - the cat-o-nine-tails that takes off a quarter pound of flesh with each stroke.’
      • ‘Outrages like the Thomas case make it a good deal more difficult for enlightened penal reformers like the Professor to get a fair hearing when they advocate bringing back the lash.’
      whip, horsewhip, bullwhip, switch, scourge, flagellum, cat-o'-nine-tails, cat, thong, flail, strap, birch, cane
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  • 2An eyelash.

    ‘she fluttered her long dark lashes’
    • ‘Her eyes show lack of sleep and care - makeup smudged to grey beneath her lower lashes, emphasising the dark shadows already growing there.’
    • ‘With dark brown eyes, long dark lashes, a flush mustache and auburn that curled at the nape of his neck, he wasn't altogether unpleasant to look at.’
    • ‘She stared at him through lowered lashes, her eyes dark.’
    • ‘Her lips are rosy and her lashes are long and dark.’
    • ‘Her smoothly curling russet hair tumbled down her back, and beneath the white veil he saw her eyes, wide and brown, rimmed with thick, dark 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.’
    • ‘He examined the Patrician nose, the curve of her cheek, the dark lashes, the porcelain clarity of her olive toned skin, the cleavage revealed.’
    • ‘The dark lashes formed a contrast with her pale skin.’
    • ‘She stood in front of the vanity and re-applied her rich, red colored lipstick, and long-lash mascara to her already long, dark lashes.’
    • ‘Long dark lashes fell gently onto her flushed cheeks.’
    • ‘He had brilliant gray eyes, fringed with long, dark lashes.’
    • ‘He had light sky blue, angled eyes with dark lashes.’
    • ‘What is the etiquette when the eyes in question are big, and brown, and fringed with generous dark lashes?’
    • ‘He had curling auburn hair and light blue eyes framed by long dark lashes like her own, his eyes were crinkled slightly at the corners from a wide grin, that seemed almost too big for his face.’
    • ‘She had creamy brown skin with dark lashes surrounding her almond shaped eyes.’
    • ‘The drawing of a woman with big eyes, dark lashes and tightly knotted hair, dressed in a ruffled frock and sporting a fan, gave it away.’
    • ‘If you want to really get girly, use an eyelash curler for lusher-looking lashes.’
    • ‘Rosie was the most beautiful girl in the school in her eyes, with her naturally rosy cheeks, bright blue eyes with long, dark lashes, and a mouth that was not only gentle in shape but gentle with words as well.’
    • ‘Speaking quietly, his huge chocolate-coloured eyes fringed by dark lashes, he looks the picture of peaceful, healthy youth.’
    • ‘Julien had deep brown eyes outlined by dark lashes.’


  • be (or go) on the lash

    • informal Be engaged in (or go on) a heavy drinking session.

      • ‘It can only be a matter of time he goes on the lash with Hitchens.’
      • ‘Because drinks cost £ 5 or more and the city centre hasn't been taken over by anti-social neds on the lash from Happy Hour onwards.’
      • ‘Too many estate agents on the lash, getting their photos taken for the social page.’
      • ‘Stop perpetuating the idea that young women out on the lash and dressed in next to nothing are asking for it.’
      • ‘He was out on the lash with a gang of workmates, boys from finance, getting the drinks in on the month's bonus.’
      • ‘I was on the lash in a pub which, for some reason, didn't have a bloody telly in it!’
      • ‘Never mind, I thought, that means all the footballers will be in post-match relaxation mode and might be out on the lash.’
      • ‘I can't these days anyway, I am too well known to get away with just going out on the lash.’
      • ‘It'll be some local youngster who's parents have given the money to have a good night on the lash.’
      • ‘So I thought, fine, I'll treat myself to a night out on the lash tonight.’
  • have a lash at

    • Have an attempt at something.

      ‘he'd already had a lash at a number of sports’
      • ‘Any politicians who say they wouldn't like to have a lash at a cabinet job shouldn't be in the Dáil.’
      • ‘At long last, there is the opportunity for you to have a lash at driving a purpose built racing car round our local race circuit.’
      • ‘The ball's swung out to the edge of the area on the left, where he decides to have a lash at goal.’
      • ‘Perhaps it's worth having a lash at rendering the local flora and fauna.’
      • ‘There is reason right now to have a lash at overclocking if you've never done it before.’
      • ‘The consumer group had a lash at "risky" lending practices.’
      • ‘While developers have occasionally had a lash at very small Chess implementations, there's been little need to write very small versions of the game.’
      • ‘They can smell competition in the wind, so thought they'd have a lash at getting new offshore customers before they start losing their own to Chinese competitors.’
      • ‘For all his failings, he was willing to let his teams have a lash at it.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • lash down

    • (of rain) fall very heavily.

      ‘torrential rain was lashing down’
      • ‘On Tuesday night, rain lashed down with rare ferocity.’
      • ‘The rain was lashing down from the dark clouds over Wimbledon Common.’
      • ‘The 12 th of November was bitterly cold with icy showers of rain lashing down over the City.’
      • ‘Thunder rolled in the distance, the rain lashed down.’
      • ‘Rain has lashed down all day, saturating the lush landscape.’
      • ‘The main problem was the rain, which lashed down at around 6.30 am.’
      • ‘But the rain lashing down did not dampen their spirits as they went in search of a goal to prolong their World Cup dream.’
      • ‘But the rain was lashing down and we knew the only way to cheer ourselves up was to have some comfort food.’
      • ‘When the rains began to lash down, the water just pooled.’
      • ‘As the rain lashed down, the monarch, appropriately dressed in a fawn raincoat, used a transparent umbrella to stay dry.’
  • lash out

    • 1Hit or kick out at someone or something.

      ‘the woman had lashed out in fear’
      • ‘They lashed out with a kick to Matt's stomach that sent him stumbling backward, and almost immediately launched a spin kick at his head.’
      • ‘The dude lashed out with a back kick which she dodged by jumping backwards.’
      • ‘Jumping to my feet, I lashed out with a kick to the ribs, yet my foot went right through the apparition.’
      • ‘Aged about 12 or 13 years at most, the girl started screaming abuse, crying, lashing out with fists and kicking.’
      • ‘As soon as she heard his heavy breathing, she lashed out, kicking anywhere and everywhere.’
      • ‘Aaron took a deep breath and figured that he had nothing to lose and lashed out with a kick aimed at the head of the nearest demon, followed up swiftly with a hook to the head of the other demon.’
      • ‘Chase lashed out with another quick kick, and I was left to watch in horror as the song spun around for a backswing kick to Chase's head.’
      • ‘I lashed out, kicking at his shins, trying to scratch any area of skin that I could reach.’
      • ‘Twice, Freddy lashes out by silently kicking a brick wall.’
      • ‘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.’
      hit out, strike, let fly, take a swing
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      1. 1.1Attack someone verbally.
        ‘in his speech, he lashed out at his enemies’
        • ‘Her surprise quickly turned to rage at him for scaring her half to death and she lashed out at him verbally.’
        • ‘It certainly isn't the first time Logan has verbally lashed out at Ryan.’
        • ‘And I knew even if I verbally lashed out at him, Trey would still take it.’
        • ‘I remember listening to this bitter old man lashing out against the smugness of the elites and the fact that they were sending all of the ideas the country had come to stand for down the drain.’
        • ‘Executives would issue denials, lash out at critics, and rush someone to the offending supplier's factory to put out the fire before it spread.’
        • ‘There will be times when you or a protective family member want to lash out verbally at someone staring, but being abusive does not reflect well on you or your family and may leave you feeling frustrated, resentful, and bitter.’
        • ‘He minced no words in lashing out at critics who charge the administration manipulated pre-war intelligence to justify going to war.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Congressional critics today lashed out at the administration for failing to deal with the massive trade deficit with China.’
        criticize, castigate, chastise, censure, attack, condemn, denounce, lambaste, harangue, rant at, rail at, haul over the coals, fulminate against, pillory, let fly
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    • 2Spend money extravagantly.

      ‘I decided to lash out and treat myself’
      ‘let's lash out on a taxi’
      • ‘Neither might it have been so quick to lash out €750,000 in goodbye money if it thought it was going to be answerable to shareholders.’
      • ‘I guess I must have been about 12 or 13 when I started getting pocket money on a regular basis, I started lashing out on Marvel and DC Comics.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are in no sense trying to blackmail parents into getting to the shops now to lash out large sums of money.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The other thing you both know is that, no matter how much you lash out on clothes, you'll lash out more on delicatessen.’
      spend lavishly, be extravagant, pay out, spend a lot of money
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Middle English (in the sense ‘make a sudden movement’): probably imitative.