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Old English lauþr "foam, washing soda," from Proto-Germanic *lauþran (cf. Old Norse lauðr "washing soap, foam"), from PIE *loutro- (cf. Gaulish lautron, Old Irish loathar "bathing tub," Greek louein "to bathe," Latin lavere "to wash"), which is from root *leu(e)- "to wash" + instrumentative suffix *-tro-. The modern noun might be a 16c. redevelopment from the verb. Meaning "violent perspiration" (especially of horses) is from 1650s. Meaning "state of agitation" (such as induces sweating) is from 1839.
Old English laþran, from Proto-Germanic *lauþrjan (cf. Old Norse leyðra "to clean, wash;" see lather (n.)). Related: Lathered; lathering.
To hit; strike: He lathered the ball out of the parkRelated Terms
[1797+; fr the notion that frothy washing lather is produced by vigorous agitation or beating]