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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

1: Νίπτω (Strong'S #3538 — Verb — nipto — nip'-to )

is chiefly used of "washing part of the body,"  John 13:5,6,8 (twice, figuratively in 2nd clause),12,14 (twice); in   1—Timothy 5:10 , including the figurative sense; in the Middle Voice, to wash oneself,  Matthew 6:17;  15:2;  Mark 7:3;  John 9:7,11,15;  13:10 . For the corresponding noun see Bason.

2: Ἀπονίπτω (Strong'S #633 — Verb — apanipto — ap-on-ip'-to )

"to wash off," is used in the Middle Voice, in  Matthew 27:24 .

3: Λούω (Strong'S #3068 — Verb — louo — loo'-o )

signifies "to bathe, to wash the body," (a) Active Voice,  Acts 9:37;  16:33; (b) Passive Voice,  John 13:10 , RV, "bathed" (AV, "washed");  Hebrews 10:22 , lit., "having been washed as to the body," metaphorical of the effect of the Word of God upon the activities to the believer; (c) Middle Voice,  2—Peter 2:22 . Some inferior mss. have it instead of luo, "to loose," in  Revelation 1:5 (see RV).

4: Ἀπολούω (Strong'S #628 — Verb — apolouo — ap-ol-oo'-o )

"to wash off or away," is used in the Middle Voice, metaphorically, "to wash oneself," in  Acts 22:16 , where the command to Saul of Tarsus to "wash away" his sins indicates that by his public confession, he would testify to the removal of his sins, and to the complete change from his past life; this "washing away" was not in itself the actual remission of his sins, which had taken place at his conversion; the Middle Voice implies his own particular interest in the act (as with the preceding verb "baptize," lit., "baptize thyself," i.e., "get thyself baptized"); the aorist tenses mark the decisiveness of the acts; in  1—Corinthians 6:11 , lit., "ye washed yourselves clean;" here the Middle Voice (rendered in the Passive in AV and RV, which do not distinguish between this and the next two Passives; see RV marg.) again indicates that the converts at Corinth, by their obedience to the faith, voluntarily gave testimony to the complete spiritual change Divinely wrought in them. In the Sept.,  Job 9:30 .

5: Πλύνω (Strong'S #4150 — Verb — pluno — ploo'-no, ploo'-o )

is used of "washing inanimate objects," e.g., "nets,"  Luke 5:2 (some texts have apopluno); of "garments," figuratively,   Revelation 7:14;  22:14 (in the best texts; the AV translates those which have the verb poieo, "to do," followed by tas entolas autou, "His commandments").

6: Ῥαντίζω (Strong'S #4472 — Verb — rhantizo — hran-tid'-zo )

"to sprinkle," is used in the Middle Voice in  Mark 7:4 , in some ancient texts, of the acts of the Pharisees in their assiduous attention to the cleansing of themselves after coming from the market place (some texts have baptizo here). See Sprinkle.

7: Βρέχω (Strong'S #1026 — Verb — brecho — brekh'-o )

"to wet," is translated "to wash" in  Luke 7:38,44 , AV; the RV, "to wet" and "hath wetted," gives the correct rendering. See Rain , B.

8: Βαπτίζω (Strong'S #907 — — baptizo — bap-tid'-zo )

is rendered "washed" in  Luke 11:38 . See Baptize.

 Leviticus 15:11

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( v. t.) To cleanse by ablution, or dipping or rubbing in water; to apply water or other liquid to for the purpose of cleansing; to scrub with water, etc., or as with water; as, to wash the hands or body; to wash garments; to wash sheep or wool; to wash the pavement or floor; to wash the bark of trees.

(2): ( v. t.) To cover with a thin or watery coat of color; to tint lightly and thinly.

(3): ( v. t.) To cover with water or any liquid; to wet; to fall on and moisten; hence, to overflow or dash against; as, waves wash the shore.

(4): ( n.) A liquid preparation for the hair; as, a hair wash.

(5): ( n.) A medical preparation in a liquid form for external application; a lotion.

(6): ( v. t.) To waste or abrade by the force of water in motion; as, heavy rains wash a road or an embankment.

(7): ( n.) A thin coat of color, esp. water color.

(8): ( v. t.) To overlay with a thin coat of metal; as, steel washed with silver.

(9): ( n.) The blade of an oar, or the thin part which enters the water.

(10): ( n.) The backward current or disturbed water caused by the action of oars, or of a steamer's screw or paddles, etc.

(11): ( n.) The flow, swash, or breaking of a body of water, as a wave; also, the sound of it.

(12): ( n.) Ten strikes, or bushels, of oysters.

(13): ( v. t.) To remove by washing to take away by, or as by, the action of water; to drag or draw off as by the tide; - often with away, off, out, etc.; as, to wash dirt from the hands.

(14): ( a.) Capable of being washed without injury; washable; as, wash goods.

(15): ( v. i.) To perform the act of ablution.

(16): ( a.) Washy; weak.

(17): ( v. i.) To clean anything by rubbing or dipping it in water; to perform the business of cleansing clothes, ore, etc., in water.

(18): ( v. i.) To bear without injury the operation of being washed; as, some calicoes do not wash.

(19): ( v. i.) To be wasted or worn away by the action of water, as by a running or overflowing stream, or by the dashing of the sea; - said of road, a beach, etc.

(20): ( n.) The act of washing; an ablution; a cleansing, wetting, or dashing with water; hence, a quantity, as of clothes, washed at once.

(21): ( n.) A piece of ground washed by the action of a sea or river, or sometimes covered and sometimes left dry; the shallowest part of a river, or arm of the sea; also, a bog; a marsh; a fen; as, the washes in Lincolnshire.

(22): ( n.) Substances collected and deposited by the action of water; as, the wash of a sewer, of a river, etc.

(23): ( n.) The fermented wort before the spirit is extracted.

(24): ( n.) A mixture of dunder, molasses, water, and scummings, used in the West Indies for distillation.

(25): ( n.) That with which anything is washed, or wetted, smeared, tinted, etc., upon the surface.

(26): ( n.) A liquid cosmetic for the complexion.

(27): ( n.) A liquid dentifrice.

(28): ( n.) Waste liquid, the refuse of food, the collection from washed dishes, etc., from a kitchen, often used as food for pigs.

(29): ( n.) A thin coat of metal laid on anything for beauty or preservation.

(30): ( n.) The dry bed of an intermittent stream, sometimes at the bottom of a ca?on; as, the Amargosa wash, Diamond wash; - called also dry wash.

(31): ( v. i.) To move with a lapping or swashing sound, or the like; to lap; splash; as, to hear the water washing.

(32): ( n.) Gravel and other rock debris transported and deposited by running water; coarse alluvium.

(33): ( n.) An alluvial cone formed by a stream at the base of a mountain.

(34): ( v. i.) To use washes, as for the face or hair.

(35): ( n.) The upper surface of a member or material when given a slope to shed water. Hence, a structure or receptacle shaped so as to receive and carry off water, as a carriage wash in a stable.

(36): ( v. t.) To cause dephosphorisation of (molten pig iron) by adding substances containing iron oxide, and sometimes manganese oxide.

(37): ( v. t.) To pass (a gas or gaseous mixture) through or over a liquid for the purpose of purifying it, esp. by removing soluble constituents.

King James Dictionary [3]

Wash, G

1. To cleanse by ablution, or by rubbing in water as, to wash the hands or the body to wash garments. 2. To wet to fall on and moisten as, the rain washes the flowers or plants. 3. To overflow. The tides wash the meadows. 4. To overflow or dash against to cover with water as, the waves wash the strand or shore the sea washes the rocks on the shore or beach. 5. To scrub in water as, to wash a deck or a floor. 6. To separate extraneous matter from as, to wash ore to wash grain. 7. In painting, to lay a color over any work with a pencil, to give it the proper tints, and make it appear more natural. Thus work is washed with a pale red to imitate brick, &c. 8. To rub over with some liquid substance as, to wash trees fro removing insects or diseases. 9. To squeeze and cleanse in water as, to wash wool. So sheep are said to be washed, when they are immersed in water and their wool squeezed, by which means it is cleansed. 10. To cleanse by a current of water as, showers wash the streets. 11. To overlay with a thin coat of metal as steel washed with silver. 12. To purify from the pollution of sin.

But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified.  1 Corinthians 6 .

To wash a ship, to bring all her guns to one side to make her heel, and then to wash and scrape her side.


1. To perform the act of ablution.

Wash in Jordan seven times.  2 Kings 5 . Elliptical.

2. To perform the business of cleansing clothes in water.

She can wash and scour.

To wash off, in calico-printing, to soak and rinse printed calicoes, to dissolve and remove the gum and paste.

WASH, n.

1. Alluvial matter substances collected and deposited by water as the wash of a river. 2. A bog a marsh a fen.

Neptunes salt wash.

3. A cosmetic as a wash for the face, to help the complexion. 4. A lotion a medical liquid preparation for external application. 5. A superficial stain or color. 6. Waste liquor of a kitchen for hogs. 7. The act of washing the clothes of a family or the whole quantity washed at once. There is a great wash, or a small wash. 8. With distillers, the fermentable liquor made b dissolving the proper subject for fermentation and distillation in common water. In the distillery of malt, the wash is made by mixing the water hot, with the malt ground into meal. 9. The shallow part of a river, or arm of the sea as the wastes in Lincolnshire. 10. The blade of an oar the thin part, which enters the water and by whose impulse the boat is moved. 11. The color laid on a picture to vary its tints. 12. A substance laid on boards or other work for beauty or preservation. 13. A thin coat of metal. 14. In the west Indies, a mixture of dunder, molasses, water and scummings, for distillation.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [4]

Râchats ( רָחַץ , Strong'S #7364), “to wash, bathe.” This word is common to both ancient and modern Hebrew and is found in ancient Ugaritic as well. It is used some 72 times in the text of the Hebrew Old Testament. The first occurrence of the word in the text illustrates one of its most common uses: “Let a little water … be fetched, and wash your feet …” (Gen. 18:4).

When the word is used figuratively to express vengeance, the imagery is a bit more gruesome: “… He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked” (Ps. 58:10). Pilate’s action in Matt. 27:24 is reminiscent of the psalmist’s statement “I will wash mine hands in innocency” (Ps. 26:6). The parts of a sacrificial animal usually “were washed” before they were burned on the altar (Exod. 29:17). Râchats is frequently used in the sense of “bathing” or “washing” oneself (Exod. 2:5; 2 Sam. 11:2). Beautiful eyes are figuratively described as “washed with milk” (Song of Sol. 5:12).

Kâbas ( כָּבַס , Strong'S #3526), “to wash.” A common term throughout the history of Hebrew for the “washing” of clothes, this word is found also in ancient Ugaritic and Akkadian, reflecting the treading aspect. Kâbas occurs in the Hebrew Old Testament 51 times. It is found for the first time in the Old Testament in Gen. 49:11 as part of Jacob’s blessing on Judah: “… He washed his garments in wine.…”

The word is used in the Old Testament primarily in the sense of “washing” clothes, both for ordinary cleansing (2 Sam. 19:24) and for ritual cleansing (Exod. 19:10, 14; Lev. 11:25). It is often used in parallelism with the expression “to wash oneself,” as in Lev. 14:8-9. Kâbas is used in the sense of “washing” or “bathing” oneself only in the figurative sense and in poetic usage, as in Jer. 4:14: “O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved.”

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [5]

 Jeremiah 4:14 (a) The cleansing of the soul and heart from evil sin is compared to a washing. It is the thought of taking advantage of the blood of the sacrifices, or of the Word of GOD, or of the Spirit of GOD, to put away things that are wrong in the sight of GOD in order that the person may be cleansed from the evil. It occurs many times throughout the Scriptures. (See also  Job 29:6;  Psalm 51:2,  Psalm 51:7;  Isaiah 1:16;  Jeremiah 2:22).

 Matthew 27:24 (a) Pilate evidently thought that by this procedure he could take away the sin of his soul. He was using a Jewish custom.

 Ephesians 5:26 (b) The cleansing effect of the Word of GOD on the ways and activities of His Church is thus described.

 1 Timothy 5:10 (b) This type represents any gracious hospitality rendered by a godly hostess to her Christian guest.

 Hebrews 10:22 (b) By this type is described the cleansing of the Word of GOD on the habits and activities of the person whose body is given to the Holy Spirit as His temple. (See also  Psalm 119:9).

 2 Peter 2:22 (b) This represents the moral cleansing brought about in the lives of those who seek by their own efforts to get rid of their evil ways and habits, thinking that thereby they will be Christians. The pig that is washed still stays a pig.

 Revelation 7:14 (b) It represents the act of faith whereby the believing sinner trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ who, by His own Blood, makes the believer clean and white in GOD's sight.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [6]

See Unclean Clean

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

(denoted by several Hebrew words of varying import; but in Greek Νίπτω , which applies to a part of the person, is clearly distinguished from Λούω , which applies to the whole body, in  John 13:10, where the A.V. unfortunately confounds the two). This act for ordinary purposes of personal cleanliness is considered under (See Bathe). We here treat it under its ceremonial aspect. (See Ablution).

The Jews had two sorts of washing for purposes of religious purification: one, of the whole body by immersion, טָבִל , Tabal, which was used by the priests at their consecration, and by the proselytes at their initiation; the other, of the hands or feet, called dipping, or pouring of water, צָבִע , Tsabd, which was of daily use, not only for the hands and feet, but also for cups and other vessels used at their meals ( Matthew 25:2;  Mark 7:3-4). The six water-pots of stone used at the marriage feast of Cana in Galilee ( John 2:6) were set for this purpose. To these two modes of purification our Lord seems to allude in  John 13:10, where the being "clean every whit" implies one who had become a disciple of Christ, and consequently had renounced the sins of his former life. He who had so done was supposed to be wholly washed, and not to need any immersion, in imitation of the ceremony of initiation, which was never repeated among the Jews. All that was necessary in such a case was the dipping or rinsing of the hands or feet, agreeably to the customs of the Jews. (See Washing) (The Hands And Feet). Sometimes the lustration was performed by sprinkling blood or anointing with bil. Sprinkling was performed either with the finger, or with a branch of cedar and hyssop tied together with scarlet wool ( Leviticus 14:4-6;  Numbers 19:18;  Psalms 51:7). (See Baptism).

The practice of frequent ablutions was not peculiar to the Hebrews; we find it rigidly enjoined by the Mohammedan law. We quote the following extract from Taylor, History of Mohammedanism:

"The Sonna of the Mohammedans exactly corresponds with the משנה , Mishnah, of the Jews, and comprehends all their religious traditions. (a.) From it we take the following account of the greater purification, Ghasl. It must be remembered that there are seven species of water fit for rightly performing religious ablutions; that is to say, rain, sea, river, fountain, well, snow, and ice water. But the principal requisites for the lustration Ghasl are three:

(1) intention;

(2) a perfect cleansing;

(3) that the water should touch the entire skin and every hair.

There are five requisites of the traditional law, or Sonna:

(1) the appropriate phrase, Bismillah ('In the name of the most merciful God'), must be pronounced;

(2) the palms must be washed before the hands are put into the basin; (3) the lustration Wodfi must be performed;

(4) the skin must be rubbed with the hand;

(5) it must be prolonged. (We omit the cases in which this lustration is required.)

(6.) The second lustration, Wodfi. The principal parts, indeed the divine (they are called divine because taken from the Koran) institutions, of the lustration Wodfi are six:

(1) intention;

(2) the washing of the entire face;

(3) the washing of the hands and forearms up to the elbows;

(4) the rubbing of some parts of the head;

(5) the washing of the feet as far as the ankles;

(6) observance of the prescribed order.

"The institutes of the traditional law about this lustration are ten:

(1) the preparatory formula, Bismillah, must be used;

(2) the palms must be washed before the hands are put into the basin;

(3) the mouth must be cleansed;

(4) water must be drawn through the nostrils;

(5) the entire head and ears must be rubbed;

(6) if the beard be thick, the fingers must be drawn through it;

(7) the toes must be separated;

(8) the right hand and foot should be washed before the left;

(9) these ceremonies must be thrice repeated;

(10) the whole must be performed in uninterrupted succession. (We omit the cases in which this lustration is required.) "Of purification by sand. The divine institutions respecting purification by sand are four:

(1) intention;

(2) the rubbing of the face;

(3) the rubbing of the hands and forearms up to the elbows;

(4) the observance of this order.

But the Sonnite ordinances are three:

(1) the formula Bismillah;

(2) the right hand and foot precede the left;

(3) that the ceremony be performed without interruption.

The Mohammedans have borrowed the permission to use sand for water, in case of necessity, from the Jews. Indeed, Cedrenus mentions an instance of sand being used for a Christian baptism. Their necessity dictated the permission; we need not therefore have recourse to Reland's strange theory, that sand is really a liquid. Four requisites to its validity are added by the commentators:

(1) the person must be on a journey;

(2) he must have diligently searched for water;

(3) it must be at the stated time of prayer;

(4) the sand must be clean." (See Lustration).