One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A sound produced by liquid striking something or being struck.
splashing, swashing, dashing, beating, batteringView synonyms
- ‘You can almost hear the whispers and the plash of water against stone.’
- ‘The snorting of the horse, the plash of hooves in the stream, the light above a dark ridge line, the twitter of birds and insects in the brush, almost (but not quite) transcend the Hollywood platitudes.’
- ‘I don't remember hearing the tell-tale plash of water today.’
- ‘Steve heard the rasp of oar-locks and the faint plash of a leisurely moving boat.’
- ‘The whole picture reverberates with the rustle and ripple and bank-caught plash of water.’
- 1.1 A pool or puddle.
- ‘I ride fast trying to avoid water and deep muddy plashes.’
- ‘Carefully picking his way through the sodden hillocks of grass, rather deep plashes and large stones strewn over the landscape, he soon noticed that his horse had wandered back and was taking an interest in his movements.’
1Splash.‘gray curtains of rain plashed down’
swash, wash, break, lapsplashing, swashing, dashing, beating, batteringView synonyms
- ‘Later there appear to be glass jars tinkling, the soft plashing of paint molecules expelled by industrial sprayguns - perhaps the machine is being coated with a durable finish.’
- ‘Hunger and weariness vanished, and only after the sun was low in the west I plashed on through the swamp, strong and exhilarated as if never more to feel any mortal care.’
- ‘Questing and plashing, whiskers twitching, he searches vole-like for paths through the confusing cyberswamp.’
- ‘Quietly the boats were launched, plashing outwards towards that blue light that shimmered starlike in the blackness.’
- ‘In the rainy months, a symphony of leaks puddled her floor, though she never cared, plashing through, with a duck's insouciance.’
- 1.1with object Strike the surface of (water) with a splashing sound.
splash, wash, swish, slap, slosh, break, purlView synonyms
- ‘As he became more awake, his senses became alert to another sound; that of gurgling, plashing water.’
- ‘Chris plashed the water with his hand.’
- ‘The gravity of the situation made us look in silence, nothing heard but the plashing of the water against the boat.’
Early 16th century: probably imitative.
1Bend and interweave (branches and twigs) to form a hedge.
- ‘Osage orange and some other plants are plashed; that is, the plants are set at an angle rather than perpendicularly, and they are wired together obliquely in such a way that they make an impenetrable barrier just above the surface of the ground.’
- ‘When hawthorn, blackthorn or firethorn were plashed in a hedge, they formed a difficult defensive hedge that acted as an obstacle to an attacking force.’
- 1.1 Make or renew (a hedge) by bending and interweaving branches and twigs.
- ‘It had been strongly plashed in the past February, and was stiff and stout.’
- ‘If livestock containment was the priority, this usually meant that the hedge would be laid or plashed every 5 to 10 (or even 20) years, in order to reduce its overall bulk and increase its density.’
Late 15th century: from Old French plaissier, based on Latin plectere ‘to plait’. Compare with pleach.
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