wash up

Idioms & Phrases

wash up

  1. Wash one's hands and face, as in It's time to wash up for dinner. [First half of 1900s] Also see clean up, def. 2.

  2. Clean the utensils after a meal, as in I'll cook dinner if you promise to wash up. [Mid-1700s] Also see do the dishes.

  3. Bring about the end or ruin of; finish. This usage is often used put in the passive, be washed up, as in She's all washed up as a singer. [Colloquial; early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: wash out
Next Definition: washed out
Words Near: wash up
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for wash up
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing wash up
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature