Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. verb To wash or clean the inside of something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wash" and "out." I hope I have time to wash out my car before our road trip. It smells a little funky in there. Unfortunately the flooding left a lot of mud inside the shed, so we'll have to wash it out. My water bottle got a little scummy so it will need to be washed out.
2. verb, slang To fail and be unable to continue something, often schooling. A lot of kids simply aren't ready for the demands of college life and end up washing out the first semester.
3. verb To remove or be removed from fabric, as of a stain. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wash" and "out." I'm going to try to wash out the wine stain from the carpet. Do you think these grass stains will wash out?
4. verb To rain excessively enough to result in the cancellation of an event. I'm sure the network is anxious about the possibility that the storm will wash out the big game, but that was always the risk of having it at an open stadium. Our game got washed out last night, so we'll have to make it up next week.
5. verb To flood something with water and erode it or make it flow away. Heavy rains washed out the topsoil, so we'll have to reseed the entire garden.
6. verb To lose a lot of money, as in a poor investment, bad deal, or when gambling. For as many times as you've washed out at the casino, I thought you'd have learned your lesson by now. A lot of investors washed out when the housing market collapsed.
7. verb To collapse, fall apart, or lose the ability to function. The marathon runner washed out within sight of the finish line, completely unable to continue. The push to pass the legislation washed out as soon as just two lawmakers defected from the effort.
8. verb To lose control and/or get into an accident; to wipe out. The viral video showed the racecar washing out severely but miraculously without injury to the driver. I got that scar from washing out on my bike when I was a kid.
9. verb To exhaust or become exhausted. By game 7, you could tell most of the players had completely washed out. The grueling training regimen can easily wash out those who aren't prepared for it.
10. verb To make someone or something look faded, pale, or less vibrant. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wash" and "out." This shirt might not be the right color. Does it wash me out? Photographers usually like to avoid shooting in midday sunshine because it's too bright and washes out all the colors.
11. noun A failure or disappointment. As a noun, the phrase is usually hyphenated or spelled as one word. He was a star player until he got busted for drugs and became a total washout. The much-hyped new department store layout turned out to be a complete washout, with sales even worse than before.
Inf. exhausted; tired. I feel too washed out to go to work today. Poor Ted really looks washed out.
Faded in color; also, lacking animation. For example, This carpet is all washed out from the sun, or He looks all washed out. [Late 1700s; early 1800s] Also see wash out, def. 3.
mod. exhausted; tired. I feel too washed out to go to work today.