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lath·er (lăthər)
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n.
1. A foam formed by soap or detergent agitated in water, as in washing or shaving.
2. Froth formed by profuse sweating, as on a horse.
3. Informal A condition of anxious or heated discomposure; agitation: The students were in a lather over the proposed restrictions.
v. lath·ered, lath·er·ing, lath·ers
v.tr.
1. To spread with or as if with lather.
2. Informal To give a beating to; whip.
v.intr.
1. To produce lather; foam.
2. To become coated with lather.

[Probably from Middle English latheren, to wash or soak clothes, from Old English lēthran, to cover with lather; see leu(ə)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

lather·er n.
lather·y adj.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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