wash away

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wash away

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.
See also: away, wash
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.
See also: away, wash

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.
See also: away, wash

wash away

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.
See also: away, wash
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

wash away

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.
See also: away, wash
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.
See also: away, someone, wash
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 ?
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Each time I entered church, the font invited me to dip my hand into the water and cross myself, a gesture that was said to wash away the residue of venial sin.
Ultramarine waves fold over round river rocks smooth as a newborn's cheek where each night slips as the day into infinity manana no time some time forget the time clock watch God's time manana waves wash the rocks push pull push pull as rain on a thousand leaves warm water from the showerhead washes grime from the streets down the drain from plump peachy legs washes it away away away Wash away the stink of the barrio, carniceria, Pollo Rey.
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With the new technique, the researchers can use water-soluble polymers, such as poly(ethylene oxide), which remain intact when organic solvents wash away the wax porogen, Ma says.