Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
cut a dash
To have a striking, attractive, and elegant appearance (in one's style of clothes). Primarily heard in UK. Louise really cut a dash in her new dress at her sister's wedding. Some people find it strange to get so dressed up for everyday events, but I believe one should always try to cut a dash whenever possible.
dash off (somewhere)
To quickly and suddenly leave (to some place). I'm just going to dash off to the pub for a quick pint. She dashed off as soon as the exam was finished.
dash (one's) hopes
To undercut one's dreams or optimistic views. I became a lawyer after my parents dashed my hopes of being an artist.
dash (something) against (something)
To throw something against something else. In a fit of anger, I dashed the plate against the wall.
dash a note off
To quickly write and send a message to one. At the very least, just dash a note off to Aunt Mildred and thank her for the gift.
To move quickly across an area. Did you see that bunny dash across the yard?
To run away. The burglar dashed away as soon as he heard the security alarm. I'm sorry to dash away, but I'll miss the bus if I don't leave now.
1. To leave quickly. In this usage, "dash off" is a set phrase. The burglar dashed off as soon as he heard the security alarm. I'm sorry to dash off, but I'll miss the bus if I don't leave now.
2. To do or make something quickly, especially to write, bake, or cook something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dash" and "off." At the very least, just dash a note off to Aunt Mildred and thank her for the gift.
To leave quickly. The burglar dashed out as soon as he heard the security alarm. I'm sorry to dash out, but I'll miss the bus if I don't leave now.
To make a quick visit to someone or some place. If the cake is ready, then I'll just dash over and pick it up now.
dash to pieces
To smash something into fragments. A noun or pronoun is usually used between "dash" and "to." In a fit of anger, I dashed the plate to pieces.
do (one's) dash
To do something to the fullest extent that one can. Primarily heard in Australia. Whew, I've done my dash! Can we just rest for a minute?
make a dash for (someone or something)
To run suddenly and at high speed toward someone or something. Our taxi was late picking us up, so I'm going to have to make a dash for it when we get to the train station! I couldn't wait to get out of school, and I made a dash for the door as soon as the bell rang. I was so anxious to be back home that I made a dash for my parents as soon as I saw them in the airport.
dash a note offand dash a letter off
to write a note or letter quickly and send it off. I have to dash this letter off, then I will be with you. I'll dash off a note to her.
dash across something
to run quickly across some area. John dashed across the busy street and ran in the door. The dog dashed across the yard and confronted the meter reader.
dash awayand dash off
to run away; to leave in a hurry. I must dash away. See you tomorrow. Juan had to dash away to an appointment. Ken dashed off and left me behind to deal with the angry customer.
dash out (for something)
[for someone] to leave a place in a hurry to get something. Harry dashed out for some cigarettes. Excuse me. I just have to dash out.
dash over (for something)
[for someone] to come by quickly for something such as a brief visit. I just dashed over for a cup of sugar. Can you spare it? I needed some sugar, so I just dashed over.
dash someone or something against someone or something
to throw or fling someone or something at or against someone or something. Sam dashed the bottle against the floor, shattering it. Alice dashed the box against Ed, throwing him off balance.
dash someone's hopes
Fig. to ruin someone's hopes; to put an end to someone's dreams or aspirations. Mary dashed my hopes when she said she wouldn't marry me.
dash something off
to make or do something quickly. I will dash this off now and try to take more time with the rest of them. I will see if I can dash off a cherry pie before dinner.
dash something to pieces
to break something into small pieces. She dashed the glass to pieces on the floor—she was so mad. The potter dashed the imperfect pot to pieces.
make a dash for someone or something
to run quickly for someone or something. Suddenly Max made a dash for Lefty and punched him in the stomach. John made a dash for the bathroom as soon as they arrived home.
pour cold water on something
1. Lit. to douse something with cold water. Pour cold water on the vegetables to freshen them. I poured cold water on my head to cool myself off.
2. and dash cold water on something; throw cold water on something Fig. to discourage doing something; to reduce enthusiasm for something. (Alludes to cooling passion with cold water.) When my father said I couldn't have the car, he poured cold water on my plans. John threw cold water on the whole project by refusing to participate.
1. Write or sketch hastily, as in I'm just going to dash off a letter. [Early 1700s]
2. Hurry away, depart hastily, as in He dashed off as though he was being chased. This usage employs the verb dash in the sense of "impetuously run" or "rush," a usage dating from about 1300.
dash someone's hopes
Destroy someone's plans, disappoint or disillusion. For example, That fall dashed her hopes of a gold medal. This term uses dash in the sense of "destroy," a usage surviving only in this idiom. [Second half of 1500s]
pour cold water on
Also, throw cold water on. Discourage or deter, as in Cutting my year-end bonus poured cold water on my loyalty to the company, or Hearing about the outbreak of cholera threw cold water on our plans to visit Bolivia. This term, with its image of putting out a fire with water, at one time meant "defame" or "slander"; the modern meaning dates from about 1800.
cut a dashmainly BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If someone cuts a dash, they impress other people with their stylish appearance. His lawyer looks as though he would cut a dash on the hunting field. Tania cut a daring dash with a dress slashed almost to the waist.
pour (or throw) cold water onbe discouraging or negative about a plan or suggestion.
1998 New Scientist When I put it to…the health minister, that perhaps all clinical trial results should be published, she threw cold water on the idea.
cut a dashbe stylish or impressive in your dress or behaviour.
As a noun, dash in the sense of ‘showy appearance’ is now found only in this expression, but this sense does also survive in the adjective dashing .
do your dashexhaust your energies or chances. Australian informal
1973 Chester Eagle Who Could Love the Nightingale? ‘Keep going,’ she said. ‘Keep going.’ ‘I've done my dash, Marg, in every sense of the words.’
make a ˈbolt/ˈdash for it/something(informal) try to escape or get somewhere quickly: The prisoners made a bolt for it through an open window. ♢ We smelt smoke and made a dash for the door.
cut a ˈdash(British English) impress others by your elegant appearance or behaviour: She cuts quite a dash with her designer clothes and expensive car.
dash/shatter somebody’s ˈhopesdestroy somebody’s hopes of doing or getting something: Any hopes that the museum would be built this year were dashed yesterday when the council announced its plans to spend less money on the arts. ♢ His poor performance in the exam shattered his hopes of becoming a lawyer.
1. To depart in a hurry: When the bell rang, he excused himself from the lunch table and dashed off to class.
2. To write or draw something hurriedly: She dashed off a note that explained where she was going. He dashed a memo off to the staff explaining the new dress code.
mod. fast and careless. I wish you hadn’t done it in such a slap-dash fashion.