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to wash gold
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Wash \Wash\ (w[o^]sh), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Washed; p. pr. & vb. n. Washing.] [OE. waschen, AS. wascan; akin to D. wasschen, G. waschen, OHG. wascan, Icel. & Sw. vaska, Dan. vaske, and perhaps to E. water. [root]150.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster] When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, . . . he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person. --Matt. xxvii. 24. [1913 Webster] 2. 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. [1913 Webster] Fresh-blown roses washed with dew. --Milton. [1913 Webster] [The landscape] washed with a cold, gray mist. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster] 3. To waste or abrade by the force of water in motion; as, heavy rains wash a road or an embankment. [1913 Webster] 4. 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. [1913 Webster] Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins. --Acts xxii. 16. [1913 Webster] The tide will wash you off. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 5. To cover with a thin or watery coat of color; to tint lightly and thinly. [1913 Webster] 6. To overlay with a thin coat of metal; as, steel washed with silver. [1913 Webster] 7. To cause dephosphorisation of (molten pig iron) by adding substances containing iron oxide, and sometimes manganese oxide. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 8. To pass (a gas or gaseous mixture) through or over a liquid for the purpose of purifying it, esp. by removing soluble constituents. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] To wash gold, etc., to treat earth or gravel, or crushed ore, with water, in order to separate the gold or other metal, or metallic ore, through their higher density. To wash the hands of. See under Hand. [1913 Webster]