1. To cover someone, something, or oneself with a lather or foam, typically from soap. In this form, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lather" and "up." Make sure you lather your hair up really thoroughly to wash out any excess dye. Our dog never sits still when we try to lather him up for his bath. To save on water, I always turn the shower off while I lather up.
2. To produce a thick volume of suds when vigorously rubbed or mixed together. I always hate washing with shower soap that doesn't lather up—I just don't feel like it gets me clean! Once the mixture lathers up, apply it evenly across the entire area of the stain.
3. To cover someone, something, or oneself with sunscreen. Make sure you lather the kids up before they go down to the beach. A lot of people forget to lather up when they go skiing because it's typically cold out, but the sun is even more dangerous out on the slopes!
4. Of a horse, to produce a lot of sweat that develops into a foam, used to cool the horse down in the heat or after strenuous activity. By the end of the long ride, I was covered in dust and my horse was well lathered up.
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.
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.