1The action or an act of bathing or cleansing the eyes.
2South Asian The use of speech or action which is only for outward show, or which conceals actual facts or motives.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Manchester Weekly Times. From eye + washing, after eyewash.
That is intended merely for outward show or to obscure or conceal actual facts or motives.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in The Referee. From eye + washing, after eyewash.