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1. To be removed or carried away by a moving body of water. Half the town washed away during the floods. Jonathan forgot to moor the boat properly, and it washed away when the tide went out.
2. To carry or remove by lifting or pushing it with the force of moving water. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wash" and "away." Heavy rains have been washing away the top soil for farmers across the country. He began spraying the driveway with a hose to wash the dirt away. The flash flood washed the entire group of hikers away.
3. To drift or fade away. Said especially of negative emotions or memories. Being with you now makes all those years of regret just wash away. You might need to seek help if the only thing to help your sorrow wash away is alcohol.
4. To remove, assuage, or atone for some negative feeling, memory, or experience. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wash" and "away." He's been trying to wash away his guilt for exploiting his stabbing partners in the back by making huge contributions to various charities. Only time can wash this kind of grief away.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
wash someone or something away
[for a flood of water] to carry someone or something away. The flood washed the boats away. The high water washed away much of the sand along the shoreline.
wash something away
to clean something by scrubbing and flushing away the dirt. Fresh water will wash the seawater away. Let's wash away these muddy footprints.
to be carried away by water or some other liquid. The bridge washed away in the flood. All the soil washed away and left the rocks exposed.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To carry away or remove something by the action of moving water: The waves washed away the debris on the beach. Heavy rains washed the topsoil away.
2. To be carried away or removed by the action of water: Our boat washed away in the storm.
3. To eliminate some corruption or guilt: He tried to wash away his regret by getting drunk. She hoped to wash her guilt away by confessing to the crime.
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.
wash someone away
tv. to kill someone. (Underworld.) The mob triggers came by and tried to wash away a druggy type.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.