Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To wash; bathe.
  • transitive v. To lap or wash against.
  • transitive v. To refresh or soothe as if by washing: "The quiet and the cool laved her” ( Edna Ferber).
  • intransitive v. Archaic To wash oneself.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The remainder, rest; that which is left, remnant; others.
  • v. To pour or throw out, as water; lade out; bail; bail out.
  • v. To draw, as water; drink in.
  • v. To give bountifully; lavish.
  • v. To run down or gutter, as a candle.
  • v. To hang or flap down.
  • v. To wash.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The remainder; others.
  • intransitive v. To bathe; to wash one's self.
  • transitive v. To wash; to bathe.
  • transitive v. To lade, dip, or pour out.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pour or throw out, as water; lade out; bail; bail out.
  • To draw, as water; drink in.
  • To give bountifully; lavish.
  • To run down or gutter, as a candle.
  • To hang or flap down. Compare lave-eared.
  • To wash; bathe.
  • To wash one's self; bathe.
  • To serve for washing or bathing; wash or flow as against something.
  • n. What is left; the remainder; the rest.
  • n. The act of washing or laving.
  • n. The sea.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. wash one's face and hands
  • v. cleanse (one's body) with soap and water
  • v. wash or flow against

Etymologies

Middle English laven, from Old English gelafian and from Old French laver, both from Latin lavāre; see leu(ə)- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English laven ("to wash, pour out, stream"), from Old English lafian, ġelafian ("to pour water on, refresh, wash"), from Proto-Germanic *labōnan (“to refresh, strengthen”), from Proto-Indo-European *lōbh- (“to strengthen oneself, rest”). Cognate with Old Saxon lavōn (Dutch laven, "to refresh, revive"), Old High German labōn, labian (German laben, "to wash, refresh"), Ancient Greek λαπάζειν, ἀλαπάζειν (lapázein, "to empty out, cleanse; to rest, refresh"). The sense of "wash" in West Germanic was reinforced due to association with unrelated Latin lavare ("to wash"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English lave, laif, lafe ("remainder, rest, that which is left"), from Old English lāf ("lave, remainder, rest"), from Proto-Germanic *laibō (“remainder”), from Proto-Indo-European *lip- (“to stick, glue”). Cognate with Old High German leiba ("lave"), Old Norse leif ("lave"), Old English belīfan ("to remain"). More at belive. (Wiktionary)

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