Glossary of Medical Terms

Our online medical glossary of medical terms and definitions includes definitions for terms related to treatment, and general medicine


1. To cleanse by ablution, or dipping or rubbing in water; to apply water or another liquid to for the purpose of cleansing; to scrub with water, etc, or as with water; as, to wash the hands or body; to wash garments; to wash sheep or wool; to wash the pavement or floor; to wash the bark of trees. "When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, . . . He took water and washed his hands till the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person." (Matt. Xxvii. 24) 2. To cover with water or any liquid; to wet; to fall on and moisten; hence, to overflow or dash against; as, waves wash the shore. "Fresh blown roses washed with dew." (Milton) "[The landscape] washed with a cool, gray mist." (Longfellow) 3. To waste or abrade by the force of water in motion; as, hard rains wash a road or an embankment. 4. To remove by washing to take away by, or as by, the action of water; to drag or draw off as by the tide; often with away, off, out, etc.; as, to wash dirt from the hands. "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins." (Acts xxii. 16) "The tide will wash you off." (Shak) 5. To cover with a thin or watery coat of colour; to tint lightly and thinly. 6. To overlay with a thin coat of metal; as, steel washed with silver. To wash gold, etc, to treat land or gravel, or crushed ore, with water, in order to separate the gold or another metal, or metallic ore, through their superior gravity. To wash the hands of. See Hand. Origin: OE. Waschen, AS. Wascan; akin to D. Wasschen, G. Waschen, OHG. Wascan, Icel. & Sw. Vaska, Dan. Vaske, and probably to E. Water. 1. The act of washing; an ablution; a cleansing, wetting, or dashing with water; hence, a quantity, as of clothes, washed at once. 2. A piece of ground washed by the action of a sea or river, or sometimes covered and sometimes left dry; the shallowest part of a river, or hand of the sea; also, a bog; a marsh; a fen; as, the washes in Lincolnshire. "The Wash of Edmonton so gay." "These Lincoln washes have devoured them." (Shak) 3. Substances collected and deposited by the action of water; as, the wash of a sewer, of a river, etc. "The wash of pastures, fields, commons, and roads, where rain water hath a long time settled." (Mortimer) 4. Waste liquid, the refuse of food, the collection from washed dishes, etc, from a kitchen, often used as food for pigs. 5. The fermented wort till the spirit is extracted. A mixture of dunder, molasses, water, and scummings, used in the West Indies for distillation. 6. That with which anything is washed, or wetted, smeared, tinted, etc, upon the surface. Specifically: A liquid cosmetic for the complexion. A liquid dentifrice. A liquid preparation for the hair; as, a hair wash. A medical preparation in a liquid form for outside application; a lotion. A thin coat of colour, especially. Water colour. A thin coat of metal laid on anything for beauty or preservation. 7. The blade of an oar, or the thin part which enters the water. The backward current or disturbed water caused by the action of oars, or of a steamer's screw or paddles, etc. 8. The flow, swash, or breaking of a body of water, as a wave; also, the sound of it. 9. Ten strikes, or bushels, of oysters. Wash ball, a ball of soap to be used in washing the hands or face. Wash body A bottle partially filled with some liquid through which gases are passed for the purpose of purifying them, especially by removing soluble constituents. A washing bottle. See Washing. Wash gilding. See Water gilding. Wash leather, split sheepskin dressed with oil, in imitation of chamois, or shammy, and used for dusting, cleaning glass or plate, etc.; also, alumed, or buff, leather for soldiers' belts. Source: Websters Vocabulary
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