energetic and spirited; lively: a dashing hero.
elegant and gallant in appearance and manner: a dashing young cavalry officer.
showy; stylish.

1800–05; dash1 + -ing2

dashingly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged


1 [dash]
verb (used with object)
to strike or smash violently, especially so as to break to pieces: He dashed the plate into smithereens against the wall.
to throw or thrust violently or suddenly: to dash one stone against another.
to splash, often violently; bespatter (with water, mud, etc.): He recovered consciousness when they dashed water in his face.
to apply roughly, as by splashing: to dash paint here and there on the wall.
to mix or adulterate by adding another substance: to dash wine with water.
to ruin or frustrate (hopes, plans, etc.): The rain dashed our hopes for a picnic.
to depress; dispirit: The failure dashed his spirits.
to confound or abash: His rejection dashed and humiliated him.
verb (used without object)
to strike with violence: The waves dashed against the cliff.
to move with violence; rush: The horses dashed out of the burning stable.
a small quantity of anything thrown into or mixed with something else: a dash of salt.
a hasty or sudden movement; a rush or sudden onset: They all made a dash for the door.
the mark or sign (—) used to note an abrupt break or pause in a sentence or hesitation in an utterance, to begin and end a parenthetic word, phrase, or clause, to indicate the omission of letters or words, to divide a line, to substitute for certain uses of the colon, and to separate any of various elements of a sentence or series of sentences, as a question from its answer.
the throwing or splashing of liquid against something: the dash of the waves against the dock.
the sound of such splashing: The dash of the waves on the beach could be heard from afar.
spirited action; élan; vigor in action or style: The dancer performed with spirit and dash.
Track. a short race: a 100-yard dash.
dashboard ( def 1 ).
Telegraphy. a signal of longer duration than a dot, used in groups of dots, dashes, and spaces to represent letters, as in Morse code.
a hasty stroke, especially of a pen.
Archaic. a violent and rapid blow or stroke.
Verb phrases
dash off,
to hurry away; leave: I must dash off now.
Also, dash down. to write, make, accomplish, etc., hastily: We dashed off a letter to announce the news. He dashed down a memo.
cut a dash, to make a striking impression; be ostentatious or showy.

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English dasshen, perhaps < Old Norse; compare Danish daske slap, flap, Swedish daska; (noun) Middle English: blow, clash, derivative of the v.

10. dart, bolt. See rush1. 11. pinch, bit; touch.


2 [dash]
verb (used with object) Chiefly British.
to damn (usually used interjectionally).

1790–1800; euphemism based on d—n, printed form of damn


3 [dash] (in West Africa)
a tip, bribe, or recompense.
verb (used with object)
to give a tip or bribe to (especially a government employee).

1780–1790; perhaps first recorded in Dutch as dache, dasche (1602); origin uncertain, but often alleged to be < Portuguese das (you) give (2nd singular present indicative of dar to give)

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dash1 (dæʃ)
vb (usually foll by off or down)
1.  to hurl; crash: he dashed the cup to the floor; the waves dashed against the rocks
2.  to mix: white paint dashed with blue
3.  (intr) to move hastily or recklessly; rush: he dashed to her rescue
4.  to write (down) or finish (off) hastily
5.  to destroy; frustrate: his hopes were dashed
6.  to daunt (someone); cast down; discourage: he was dashed by her refusal
7.  a sudden quick movement; dart
8.  a small admixture: coffee with a dash of cream
9.  a violent stroke or blow
10.  the sound of splashing or smashing: the dash of the waves
11.  panache; style: he rides with dash
12.  cut a dash See cut
13.  the punctuation mark , used singly in place of a colon, esp to indicate a sudden change of subject or grammatical anacoluthon, or in pairs to enclose a parenthetical remark
14.  Compare dah the symbol (–) used, in combination with the symbol dot (·), in the written representation of Morse and other telegraphic codes
15.  athletics another word (esp US and Canadian) for sprint
16.  informal short for dashboard
[Middle English dasche, dasse]

dash2 (dæʃ)
informal damn a euphemistic word for damn

dash3 (dæʃ)
1.  a gift, commission, tip, or bribe
2.  to give (a dash) to someone
[C16: perhaps from Fanti]

dashing (ˈdæʃɪŋ)
1.  spirited; lively: a dashing young man
2.  stylish; showy: a dashing hat

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

c.1300, probably from a Scandinavian source, somehow imitative. The oldest sense is that in dash to pieces and dashed hopes. Intrans. meaning "move quickly" appeared c.1300, that of "to write hurriedly" is 1726. Sporting sense of "race run in one heat" is from 1881.

1801, "given to cutting a dash," (1786), which was a colloquial expression for "acting brilliantly," from dash in the sense of "showy appearance," which is attested from 1715.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

dash definition

A punctuation mark (—) used to indicate a sudden break in thought, to set off parenthetical material, or to take the place of such expressions as that is and namely: “He's running for reelection — if he lives until then”; “Very few people in this class — three, to be exact — have completed their projects”; “She joined the chorus for only one reason — she loves to sing.” In the last example, where the parenthetical material comes at the end of the sentence rather than in the middle, a colon could be used instead of the dash.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
He looks at fixed-gear bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes and hand-built bikes
  so dashing that it seems foolish even to ride them.
The stream below is the vibrant color of blue antifreeze, dashing against
  car-size boulders.
We call him and he whines and barks, dashing forward and running back with his
  tail between his legs.
But your days of dashing between warm spots, or paying extra for the privilege
  of not, may soon be at an end.
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