make a hash of

make a hash of


  1. a dish of diced or chopped meat and often vegetables, as of leftover corned beef or veal and potatoes, sautéed in a frying pan or of meat, potatoes, and carrots cooked together in gravy.
  2. a mess, jumble, or muddle: a hash of unorganized facts and figures.
  3. a reworking of old and familiar material: This essay is a hash of several earlier and better works.
  4. Computers. garbage(def 7).
  5. Radio and Television Slang. electrical noise on a radio or snow in a television picture caused by interfering outside sources that generate sparking.

verb (used with object)

  1. to chop into small pieces; make into hash; mince.
  2. to muddle or mess up: We thought we knew our parts, but when the play began we hashed the whole thing.
  3. to discuss or review (something) thoroughly (often followed by out): They hashed out every aspect of the issue.

Verb Phrases

  1. hash over, to bring up again for consideration; discuss, especially in review: At the class reunion they hashed over their college days.


  1. make a hash of, to spoil or botch: The new writer made a hash of his first assignment.
  2. settle someone’s hash, Informal. to get rid of; subdue: Her blunt reply really settled my hash.


  1. a dish of diced cooked meat, vegetables, etc, reheated in a sauce
  2. something mixed up
  3. a reuse or rework of old material
  4. make a hash of informal
    1. to mix or mess up
    2. to defeat or destroy
  5. settle someone’s hash or fix someone’s hash informal to subdue or silence someone

verb (tr)

  1. to chop into small pieces
  2. to mix or mess up


  1. slang short for hashish


  1. the character (#) used to precede a number
  2. this sign used in printing or writing to indicate that a space should be inserted

n.2short for hashish, 1959. n.1“a stew,” 1660s, from hash (v.). Meaning “a mix, a mess” is from 1735. v.1650s, “to hack, chop into small pieces,” from French hacher “chop up,” from Old French hache “ax” (see hatchet). Hash browns is short for hash browned potatoes (1917), with the -ed omitted, as in mash potatoes. The hash marks on a football field were so called 1960s, from similarity to hash marks, armed forces slang for “service stripes on the sleeve of a military uniform” (1909), which supposedly were called that because they mark the number of years one has had free food (hash (n.1)) from the Army; but perhaps there is a connection with the noun form of hatch (v.2). n.

  1. Hashish.

Also, make a mess of. Ruin or spoil something, as in They’ve made a hash of their financial affairs, or She thought he’d make a mess of the garden. The first term, first recorded in 1833, uses hash in the sense of “a jumble of mangled fragments”; the variant, using mess in the sense of “a muddle” or “a state of confusion,” was first recorded in 1862. In addition to the idiom beginning with hash

  • hash over
  • also see:

  • make a hash of
  • settle someone’s hash
  • sling hash
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