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[rash] /ræʃ/
adjective, rasher, rashest.
acting or tending to act too hastily or without due consideration.
characterized by or showing too great haste or lack of consideration:
rash promises.
Origin of rash1
1350-1400; Middle English; cognate with Dutch, German rasch quick, brisk, Old Norse rǫskr brave
Related forms
rashly, adverb
rashness, noun
1. hasty, impetuous, reckless, venturous, incautious, precipitate, indiscreet, foolhardy.
1. cautious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rashness
Historical Examples
  • The rashness of such a plan it is more easy for one to establish than two to deny.

    Erema R. D. Blackmore
  • These were the men who in their folly had loosened the waters and died of their rashness.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • The Burgundians taxed him with rashness in no measured terms.

    Quentin Durward Sir Walter Scott
  • His very embarrassment, however, drove him into rashness, as often happens.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Then all men knew and wondered at the daring, and, as some thought, the rashness of this movement.

    Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker S. Weir Mitchell
  • He who has lived as I have lived, and suffered what I have suffered, must have been long since cured of rashness.

    The Bravo of Venice Heinrich Zschokke
  • The earl of Essex was but thirty-four years of age, when his rashness, imprudence, and violence brought him to this untimely end.

  • His courage was still as high as ever, but the first symptoms of rashness had vanished.

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
  • The resolution, as a whole, may have been a rash one, but there was no rashness displayed in the carrying out of its details.

  • "Oh, its safety lay in its rashness," said the widow coldly.

    A Coin of Edward VII Fergus Hume
British Dictionary definitions for rashness


acting without due consideration or thought; impetuous
characterized by or resulting from excessive haste or impetuosity: a rash word
Derived Forms
rashly, adverb
rashness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old High German rasc hurried, clever; related to Old Norse roskr brave


(pathol) any skin eruption
a series of unpleasant and unexpected occurrences: a rash of forest fires
Derived Forms
rashlike, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Old French rasche, from raschier to scratch, from Latin rādere to scrape
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rashness



late 14c., "nimble, quick, vigorous" (early 14c. as a surname), a Scottish and northern word, perhaps from Old English -ræsc (cf. ligræsc "flash of lightning") or one of its Germanic cognates, from Proto-Germanic *raskuz (cf. Middle Low German rasch, Middle Dutch rasc "quick, swift," German rasch "quick, fast"). Related to Old English horsc "quick-witted." Sense of "reckless, impetuous, heedless of consequences" is attested from c.1500. Related: Rashly; rashness.


"eruption of small red spots on skin," 1709, perhaps from French rache "a sore" (Old French rasche "rash, scurf"), from Vulgar Latin *rasicare "to scrape" (also source of Old Provençal rascar, Spanish rascar "to scrape, scratch," Italian raschina "itch"), from Latin rasus "scraped," past participle of radere "to scrape" (see raze). The connecting notion would be of itching. Figurative sense of "any sudden outbreak or proliferation" first recorded 1820.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rashness in Medicine

rash (rāsh)
A skin eruption.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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