AskDefine | Define swash

Dictionary Definition

swash n : the movement or sound of water; "the swash of waves on the beach"


1 make violent, noisy movements
2 dash a liquid upon or against; "The mother splashed the baby's face with water" [syn: spatter, splatter, plash, splash, splosh]
4 act in an arrogant, overly self-assured, or conceited manner [syn: swagger, bluster]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The water that washes up on shore after an incoming wave has broken
  2. a long, protruding ornamental line or pen stroke found in some typefaces and styles of calligraphy (plural: swashes).


  1. defn English

Extensive Definition

Swash (Uprush and Backwash), in geography, is the water that washes up on shore after an incoming wave has broken. This action will cause sand and other light particles to be transported up the beach. The direction of the swash varies with the prevailing wind, whereas the backwash is always perpendicular to the coastline. This may cause longshore drift.

Backwash current

Backwash current is a seaward current that results from the receding swash on the beach face, after a wave breaks, joins the seaward movement of the wave trough toward the next incoming crest. The same orbital wave movement that causes a ball to bob up and down on the water causes the trough to move back and up toward the next wave crest. This is not what the word "undertow" suggests, and this term should not be used.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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