lather(redirected from lathering)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to lathering: slathering
*in a lather
Fig. flustered; excited and agitated. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~.) Now, calm down. Don't be in a lather. I always get in a lather when I'm late. I get into a lather easily.
lather something up
to apply thick soapsuds to something, such as part of the body or all of it. He lathered his face up in preparation for shaving. He lathered up his face.
1. [for a horse] to develop a foam of sweat from working very hard. The horses lathered up heavily during the race. Don't let your horse lather up!
2. [for soap] to develop thick suds when rubbed in water. This soap won't lather up, even when I rub it hard. When the soap lathers up, spread the lather on your face and rub.
3. and lather oneself up [for one] to apply soap lather to one's body. He will spend a few minutes lathering himself up before he rinses. He lathered up and then shaved.
work oneself (up) into a latherand work oneself (up) into a sweat
1. and work up a sweat Lit. to work very hard and sweat very much. (In the way that a horse works up a lather.) Don't work yourself up into a lather. We don't need to finish this today. I worked myself into a sweat getting this stuff ready.
2. . Fig. to get excited or angry. (An elaboration of work oneself up to something.) Now, now, don't work yourself up into a lather. He had worked himself into such a sweat, I was afraid he would have a stroke.
be in a lather(informal)
to be very anxious about something She was in a real lather when I left this morning because she couldn't find the tickets. (informal)
in a lather
Also, in a state. Agitated and anxious, as in Don't get yourself in a lather over this, or She was in a state over the flight cancellation. The first term alludes to the frothy sweat of a horse, the second to an upset state of mind. [Early 1800s] For a synonym, see in a stew.
1. To cover some surface with lather or foam: He lathered up his chin and shaved the stubble. She lathered her hair up with the new shampoo.
2. To produce or become filled or covered with lather or foam: This shaving cream lathers up as soon as you put it on your skin.
mod. alcohol intoxicated. The two brothers sat there and got lathered.
work oneself (up) into a lather
1. tv. to work very hard and sweat very much. (In the way that a horse works up a lather.) Don’t work yourself up into a lather. We don’t need to finish this today.
2. tv. to get excited or angry. (An elaboration of work oneself up to something.) Now, now, don’t work yourself up into a lather.