Pronunciation Noun

dash (plural dashes)

  1. (typography) Any of the following symbols: ‒ (figure dash), – (en dash), — (em dash), or ― (horizontal bar).
    1. (colloquial) A hyphen or minus sign.
  2. (by extension) The longer of the two symbols of Morse code.
  3. A short run, flight.
    When the feds came they did the dash.
  4. A rushing or violent onset.
  5. Violent strike; a whack.
    • quote en
  6. A small quantity of a liquid substance etc.; less than 1/8 of a teaspoon.
    Add a dash of vinegar.
  7. (figurative, by extension) A slight admixture.
    There is a dash of craziness in his personality.
  8. Ostentatious vigor.
    Aren't we full of dash this morning?
  9. A dashboard.
    • 1955, Rex Stout, "The Next Witness", in Three Witnesses, October 1994 Bantam edition, ISBN 0553249592, page 31:
      The dash clock said 2:38 when […] I turned off a dirt road […] .
  10. (Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia) A bribe or gratuity; a gift.
    • 1992, George B. N. Ayittey, Africa betrayed (page 44)
      The traditional practice of offering gifts or "dash" to chiefs has often been misinterpreted by scholars to provide a cultural explanation for the pervasive incidence of bribery and corruption in modern Africa.
    • 2006, Adiele Eberechukwu Afigbo, The Abolition of the Slave Trade in Southeastern Nigeria, 1885-1950 (page 99)
      Writing in 1924 on a similar situation in Ugep, the political officer, Mr. S. T. Harvey noted: "In the old days there was no specified dowry but merely dashes given to the father-in-law […]
    • 2008, Lizzie Williams, Nigeria: The Bradt Travel Guide (page 84)
      The only other times you'll be asked for a dash is from beggars.
  11. (dated, euphemistic) A stand-in for a censored word, like "Devil" or "damn". (Compare deuce.)
    • 1853, William Makepeace Thackeray, The Newcomes, Chapter VI, serialized in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, (VIII, no. 43, Dec 1853) p. 118 ↗
      Sir Thomas looks as if to ask what the dash is that to you! but wanting still to go to India again, and knowing how strong the Newcomes are in Leadenhall Street, he thinks it necessary to be civil to the young cub, and swallows his pride once more into his waistband.
      Comment: Some editions leave this passage out. Of those that include it, some change the 'you!' to 'you?'.
    • 1884, Lord Robert Gower, My Reminiscences, reprinted in "The Evening Lamp", The Christian Union, (29) 22, (May 29, 1884) p. 524 ↗
      Who the dash is this person whom none of us know? and what the dash does he do here?
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

dash (dashes, present participle dashing; past and past participle dashed)

  1. (intransitive) To run quickly or for a short distance.
    He dashed across the field.
  2. (intransitive, informal) To leave or depart.
    I have to dash now. See you soon.
  3. (transitive) To destroy by striking (against).
    He dashed the bottle against the bar and turned about to fight.
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula Chapter 21
      "`Silence! If you make a sound I shall take him and dash his brains out before your very eyes.'
    • 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, Chapter 4
      Kala was the youngest mate of a male called Tublat, meaning broken nose, and the child she had seen dashed to death was her first; for she was but nine or ten years old.
  4. (transitive) To throw violently.
    The man was dashed from the vehicle during the accident.
    • If you dash a stone against a stone in the bottom of the water, it maketh a sound.
    quote en
  5. (ambitransitive, sometimes, figurative) To sprinkle; to splatter.
    • On each hand the gushing waters play, / And down the rough cascade all dashing fall.
    • 1849, [Alfred, Lord Tennyson], In Memoriam, London: Edward Moxon, […], published 1850, OCLC 3968433 ↗, (please specify ):
      The very source and fount of day / Is dash'd with wandering isles of night.
    • [W]hen I draw any faulty character, I consider all those persons to whom the malice of the world may possibly apply it, and take care to dash it with such particular circumstances as may prevent all such ill-natured applications.
  6. (transitive, dated) To mix, reduce, or adulterate, by throwing in something of an inferior quality.
    to dash wine with water
  7. (transitive, of hopes or dreams) To ruin; to destroy.
    Her hopes were dashed when she saw the damage.
  8. (transitive) To dishearten; to sadden.
    Her thoughts were dashed to melancholy.
  9. (transitive) To complete hastily, usually with down or off.
    He dashed down his eggs, she dashed off her homework
  10. (transitive) To draw quickly; jot.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room Chapter 1
      "Scarborough," Mrs. Flanders wrote on the envelope, and dashed a bold line beneath; it was her native town; the hub of the universe.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: herunterreissen, herunterstürzen
  • Spanish: hacer rápidamente
Translations Interjection
  1. (euphemistic) Damn!
Proper noun
  1. Surname
  2. (rare) A male given name.

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