from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A foam formed by soap or detergent agitated in water, as in washing or shaving.
- n. Froth formed by profuse sweating, as on a horse.
- n. Informal A condition of anxious or heated discomposure; agitation: The students were in a lather over the proposed restrictions.
- transitive v. To spread with or as if with lather.
- transitive v. Informal To give a beating to; whip.
- intransitive v. To produce lather; foam.
- intransitive v. To become coated with lather.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To cover with lather.
- v. To beat or to whip.
- n. The foam made by rapidly stirring soap and water.
- n. A state of agitation.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Foam or froth made by soap moistened with water.
- n. Foam from profuse sweating, as of a horse.
- transitive v. To spread over with lather.
- intransitive v. To form lather, or a froth like lather; to accumulate foam from profuse sweating, as a horse.
- transitive v. To beat severely with a thong, strap, or the like; to flog.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Foam, froth, or suds made from soap moistened with water, as by a brush for shaving.
- n. Foam or froth formed in profuse sweating, as of a horse.
- To form a foam or suds, as soap and water; become froth or frothy matter.
- To spread lather on or over; apply lather to, as the face in shaving.
- To flog; leather.
- n. A work-man who puts up laths for plaster-work.
- n. A dialectal variant of ladder.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. rub soap all over, usually with the purpose of cleaning
- n. a workman who puts up laths
- n. the foam resulting from excessive sweating (as on a horse)
- n. the froth produced by soaps or detergents
- v. form a lather
- v. exude sweat or lather
- v. beat severely with a whip or rod
- n. agitation resulting from active worry
Probably from Middle English latheren, to wash or soak clothes, from Old English lēthran, to cover with lather; see leu(ə)- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Frm Middle English *lethren, from Old English lēþrian, lȳþrian, *līeþrian (“to anoint, smear, lather”), from Old English lēaþor ("a kind of niter used for soap, soda"). See above. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English lather, from Old English lēaþor ("a kind of niter used for soap, soda"), from Proto-Germanic *lauþran (“that which is used for washing, soap”), from Proto-Indo-European *lowʰ₃-tro- (“that which is used for washing”), from Proto-Indo-European *lawe-, *lewʰ₃-, *lowʰ₃- (“to wash, bathe”). Cognate with Swedish lödder ("lather, foam, froth, soap"), Icelandic löður ("foam, froth, a kind of niter used for soap"), Old Irish lóathar ("wash-basin"), Ancient Greek λουτρόν (loutrón, "a bath, wash-room"), Latin lavō ("wash"), Albanian laj ("I wash"), Ancient Greek λούω (loúō). More at lye. (Wiktionary)