Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To wash; bathe.
  • transitive verb To lap or wash against.
  • transitive verb To refresh or soothe as if by washing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun The act of washing or laving.
  • noun The sea.
  • To wash; bathe.
  • To wash one's self; bathe.
  • To serve for washing or bathing; wash or flow as against something.
  • noun What is left; the remainder; the rest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To bathe; to wash one's self.
  • noun Scot. The remainder; others.
  • transitive verb To wash; to bathe.
  • transitive verb obsolete To lade, dip, or pour out.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English laven, from Old English gelafian and from Old French laver, both from Latin lavāre; see leu(ə)- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

Examples

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