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Middle English as, ass, asse, from Old English assa, back-formed from assen ‘she-ass’, from Celtic (compare Old Irish asan, Old Cornish asen), from Latin asinus. Replaced Old English eosol, from Proto-Germanic *asiluz (compare Old High German esil, Old Saxon esil, Gothic 𐌰𐍃𐌹𐌻𐌿𐍃 (asilus)).
Nounass (plural asses)
- Any of several species of horse-like animals, especially Equus africanus, often domesticated and used a beast of burden.
- (slang) A stupid person.
- Damn! That new kid left the cap off of the syrup bottle again! What an ass.
Hyponymsarse (used in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc.) with loss of -r- before s (common in both England and US; e.g., bass, bust, cuss, passel), from Old English ærs, ears, from Proto-Germanic *arsaz (compare Old High German ars (German Arsch), Old Norse ars, Old Frisian ers), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃érsos (compare Ancient Greek ὄρρος (orros)).
Nounass (countable and uncountable, plural asses)
- (vulgar, slang) Buttocks.
- (vulgar, slang, uncountable) Sex.
- I’m going to go down to the bar and try to get me some ass.
- (vulgar, slang) Anus. [quotations ▼]
- (slang) Used in similes to express something bad or unpleasant.
- I feel like ass today. (I am feeling very bad today.)
- This room smells like ass. (This room smells very bad.)
- What a bunch of ass. (What a bunch of lies/nonsense/disappointment.)
- (slang) Used after an adjective to indicate extremes or excessiveness.
- That was one big-ass fish!
- That's an expensive-ass car!
- (slang) One's self or person, chiefly their body.
- Get your lazy ass out of bed!
- When used with a possessive, it adds a tone of anger or disapproval to the whole sentence: "he has trouble getting his ass up in the morning" is much stronger and more negative than "he has trouble getting up in the morning". Such usage is also considered by many to be rude, vulgar and offensive, especially when it refers to the person addressed.