lather

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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

get in(to) a lather

To become very nervous, distressed, or upset. Sam got 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 still got into a lather about us leaving behind schedule.
See also: get, lather

get into a lather

To be very nervous, distressed, or upset. Don't get into a lather just because you don't think your job interview went well. I told Mom that we'll get there on time, but she's gotten into a lather about us leaving behind schedule.
See also: get, lather

in a lather

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

lather up

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.
See also: lather, up

lather, rinse, (and) repeat

An instruction to repeat the same steps of some process, perhaps multiple times, in order to achieve the same desired result. A reference to instructions found on some bottles of shampoo. It's easy, you just cut a piece of the material to length, fold it in half, then sew along the edges. Lather, rinse, and repeat until you've done 50 of them. My last job was so mindless. I would just input customer details into a spreadsheet, export the file to our internal format, then add it to the company database. Lather, rinse, repeat, all day long.
See also: repeat

lathered (up)

1. Totally covered in some liquid or foamy substance, such as soap suds or cream. Everyone in the bachelorette party was busy getting lathered up in fake tan ahead of the night out on the town. Make sure the kids are lathered in sun block before you let them go out on the beach.
2. slang Drunk. The flight attendant was fired for getting lathered in the middle of a flight. Tom kept buying us rounds of drinks, so we stayed pretty lathered up the whole night.
See also: lather

work (oneself) into a lather

To become very nervous, distressed, or upset. Don't work yourself into a lather just because you don't think your job interview went well. I told Mom that we'll get there on time, but she's worked herself into a lather about us leaving behind schedule.
See also: lather, work

work (oneself) up into a lather

To become or make oneself feel very nervous, distressed, or upset. Don't work yourself up into a lather just because you don't think your job interview went well. I told Mom that we'll get there on time, but she's worked herself up into a lather about us leaving behind schedule.
See also: lather, up, work
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

in a lather

INFORMAL
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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

lather up

v.
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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

lathered

(ˈlæðɚd)
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

verb
See also: lather, work
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
You can hardly tear your eyes away, as Fried puts it, from the lathery Unmade Bed, ca.