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1. To flush or rinse someone or something with a liquid, as to clean or sanitize. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wash" and "down." Mom washed down the scrape before putting a bandage on it. The dog is covered in mud, so take the hose and wash him down.
2. To use the force of water or another liquid to move something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wash" and "down." Don't wash down those bits of food in the sink—they'll clog up the drain.
3. To drink something in order to aid the act of eating or swallowing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wash" and "down." I could use a cold soda to wash down these fries. If she struggles to swallow that pill, give her some more water to wash it down.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
wash something down something
to get rid of something by flooding it down the sewer, drain, sink, etc. Wash all the soap suds down the drain and clean the sink, please. Please wash all that stuff down the drain.
wash something down(with something)
1. to clean something by flooding with water, alcohol, etc. The doctor washed the area down and began to stitch up the wound. She washed down the wound with alcohol to clean it thoroughly. Todd washed the driveway down with water.
2. Fig. to use fluid to aid the swallowing of food or medicine. Molly washed the pills down with a gulp of coffee. She washed down the pills with a glass of water.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Clean by washing from top to bottom, as in He always washes down the walls before painting. [Second half of 1800s]
2. Drink a liquid after eating food or taking medicine, as in He washed down the pills with a glass of water. [c. 1600]
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.
1. To cleanse the surface of something using water or other liquid: We washed down the walls. My neighbor washed the car down.
2. To cause something to be carried or drawn down by the action of water or similar liquid: We tried to wash the grease down, but it stuck to the sides. I washed the tar down with the hose.
3. To follow the ingestion of something, such as food, with the ingestion of a liquid: After the party, we washed the cake down with coffee. I washed down the medicine with some juice.
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.