Etymology
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lather (n.)

Old English leaþr "foam, soap, washing soda," from Proto-Germanic *lauthran (source also of Old Norse lauðr "washing soap, foam"), from PIE *loutro- (source also of Gaulish lautron, Old Irish loathar "bathing tub," Greek louein "to bathe," Latin lavere "to wash"), which is from root *leue- "to wash" + instrumentative suffix *-tro-.

The modern noun might be a 16c. redevelopment from the verb. Meaning "violent perspiration" (especially of horses) is from 1650s; hence the transferred sense "state of agitation" (such as induces sweating), attested from 1839.

lather (v.)

from a Middle English variant of letheren (v.), from Old English leþran (late West Saxon lyþran) "become covered with (sweat, blood, etc.)," also transitive, from Proto-Germanic *lauthrjan (source also of Old Norse leyðra "to clean, wash;" see lather (n.)). Meaning "to form in froth, produce suds or foam" is from c. 1600. Related: Lathered; lathering.

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Definitions of lather
1
lather (v.)
beat severely with a whip or rod;
Synonyms: flog / welt / whip / lash / slash / strap / trounce
lather (v.)
form a lather;
The shaving cream lathered
lather (v.)
exude sweat or lather;
this unfit horse lathers easily
lather (v.)
rub soap all over, usually with the purpose of cleaning;
Synonyms: soap
2
lather (n.)
the froth produced by soaps or detergents;
Synonyms: soapsuds / suds
lather (n.)
agitation resulting from active worry;
Synonyms: fret / stew / sweat / swither
lather (n.)
a workman who puts up laths;
lather (n.)
the foam resulting from excessive sweating (as on a horse);
From wordnet.princeton.edu