1 [lath-er]
foam or froth made by a detergent, especially soap, when stirred or rubbed in water, as by a brush used in shaving or by hands in washing.
foam or froth formed in profuse sweating, as on a horse.
Informal. a state of excitement, agitation, nervous tension, or the like: He was in a lather over my delay.
verb (used without object)
to form a lather: a soap that lathers well.
to become covered with lather, as a horse.
verb (used with object)
to apply lather to; cover with lather: He lathered his face before shaving.
Informal. to beat or whip.

before 950; Middle English; Old English lēathor soap; cognate with Old Norse lauthr (Icelandic löthur) lather, foam

latherer, noun
unlathered, adjective Unabridged


2 [lath-er, lah-ther]
a worker who puts up laths.

lath + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To lather
World English Dictionary
lather (ˈlɑːðə, ˈlæ-)
1.  foam or froth formed by the action of soap or a detergent in water
2.  foam formed by other liquid, such as the sweat of a horse
3.  informal a state of agitation or excitement
4.  to coat or become coated with lather
5.  (intr) to form a lather
[Old English lēathor soap; related to Old Norse lauthr foam]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. lauþr "foam, washing soda," from P.Gmc. *lauþran (cf. O.N. lauðr "washing soap, foam"), from PIE *loutrom (cf. Gaul. lautron, O.Ir. loathar "bathing tub," Gk. louein "to bathe," L. lavere "to wash"), which is from base *lou- "to wash" + instrumentative suffix *-tro-. Meaning "state
of agitation" (such as induces sweating) is from 1839. The verb is from O.E. laþran, from P.Gmc. *lauþrjan.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see in a lather.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Also, lather on plenty of sunscreen in order to avoid sun poisoning or severe
If you do go hiking or biking during the day, lather on the sunscreen and bring
  plenty of drinking water with you.
Some lather up, while others dance and sing in the water.
For a thicker lather, combine baking soda with liquid soap until the texture
  approximates frosting.
Idioms & Phrases
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature