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be in a lather

To be very nervous, distressed, or upset. Sam is in a lather because she doesn't think her job interview went well. I told mom that we'll get there on time, but she's still in a lather about us leaving behind schedule.
See also: lather

*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.
See also: lather

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.
See also: lather, up

lather up

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.
See also: lather, up

work oneself (up) into a lather

 and 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.
See also: lather, work

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.
See also: lather

in a lather

If someone is in a lather, they are very angry, worried or upset about something. `Brenda!' she shouted, in a great lather. `It's happened again!' Note: You can also say that someone gets into a lather or works themselves up into a lather. What's she getting into a lather about now? You have spent the past six months worrying and working yourself up into a lather over situations which are really none of your business. Note: When horses get very hot, the sweat on their coats sometimes forms a foamy substance called lather.
See also: lather

get into a ˈlather


work yourself into a ˈlather

(British English, informal) get anxious or angry about something, especially when it is not necessary: Look, don’t worry! There’s no point getting yourself into a lather over this!The idiom originally described the heavy sweat that you can see on the coat of a horse that has run very hard as a mass of white bubbles, like lather, the bubbles produced by mixing soap with water.
See also: get, lather

in a ˈlather

(British English, informal) in a nervous, angry or excited state: What’s going on? Chris has just come rushing into my office all in a lather, saying something about a lost report.
See also: lather

lather up

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.
See also: lather, up


mod. alcohol intoxicated. The two brothers sat there and got lathered.
See also: lather

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.
See also: lather, up, work

work oneself into a lather

See also: lather, work
References in periodicals archive ?
And everyone we polled wanted more lather from their soap," which is the primary reason why so many have turned to bottled liquids and shower gels, DiBelardino continued.
Lathers, who had been sitting on the couch, said he opened the front door and immediately slammed it shut when he saw the amount of fire on the long wooden porch in front of his duplex, at 17-19 Arcade St.
It foams into a light bubbly lather, leaving skin delicately scented and cared for.
This conditioner gives a good creamy lather but it leaves hair feeling a bit dry.
Thisweek, we asked the girls from TheNoble House Restaurant and Bar in Brunswick Street, Liverpool, to get in a lather and test treatment shampoos TESTER: Emma McLaughlin, 21, bartender from Kensington.
It's a lovely light gel that, despite its very green credentials, lathers up nicely and leaves hands feeling lovely and soft.
The lather wasnOt great, but I slapped it on and immersed myself in the fab smell for ages.
The utterly baseball-obsessed city lathers have opted to offer Major League Baseball a staggering $440 million subsidy in the form of a new stadium for the vagabond Montreal Expos.
The razor manufacturer is stepping up its battle with its arch rival by introducing Intuition to the fixture, a wet shaver that lathers and shaves at the same time.
1 -- color in SAC and AV edition only) Tina Hall of Santa Clarita lathers sun block onto her daughter Rachel, 6, while her daughter Allison, 2, waits her turn.
Narrating a typical day in the life, Bateman lathers himself in his white-on-white apartment with body scrubs, exfoliating lotions, moisturizers, and anti-aging balms.
By chemically separating components of the plant extracts, Yoshikawa's team identified the active ingredients as triterpene oligoglycosides, members of a class of sugar derivatives called saponins that have a tendency to produce soapy lathers.
This unique gel lathers into a thick, rich cream for a close, smooth shave while cleansing impurities from skin.
Crabtree and Evelyn Pomegranate Argan and Grapeseed Skin Cleansing Bath and Shower Gel | 250ml | pounds 15) For luxury bathing, this is not a cheap option but it does have a pleasant fragrance, lathers well and gives plenty of bubbles.