\ ˈblēch How to pronounce bleach (audio) \
bleached; bleaching; bleaches

Definition of bleach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to remove color or stains from
2a : to make whiter or lighter especially by physical or chemical removal of color bleach clothing the sun had bleached her hair
b : to remove, make dull, or sanitize as if by removing color bleaches colonialism of its genocidal legacy— H. A. Giroux

intransitive verb

1 : to grow white or lose color
2 of coral : to expel symbiotic zooxanthellae exposing a white skeleton



Definition of bleach (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of bleaching
2 : a preparation used in bleaching
3 : the degree of whiteness obtained by bleaching

Other Words from bleach


bleachable \ ˈblē-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce bleach (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for bleach

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of bleach in a Sentence

Verb bones bleached white by the sun She bleached her hair blonde.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sometimes, designers require to you to bleach your eyebrows and wear crazy outfits in the name of fashion. Alex Apatoff, Peoplemag, 10 Sep. 2022 Pastes typically contain mild abrasives like hydrated silica, sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate to polish and remove surface stains and/or low concentrations of the active teeth whitening ingredient hydrogen peroxide to bleach teeth. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, 30 Aug. 2022 If that weren't devastating enough, ground-level smog, which contains high levels of ozone, can bleach our hair color, says Hammer. Jolene Edgar, Allure, 24 June 2022 The depot held clothing ready for export as well as drums filled with hydrogen peroxide, a chemical compound often used to bleach and dye fabric. New York Times, 7 June 2022 Benzoyl peroxide products should be used with caution as it is known to be a skin irritant when exposed to the skin for long periods of time and can bleach the hairline and clothes. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 May 2022 All flours will bleach (i.e. lighten) over time with exposure to air. Carmen Collins, Country Living, 19 Apr. 2022 Spider mites suck the juices from leaf cells, causing leaves to bleach out. oregonlive, 13 Feb. 2022 For example, many people will bleach their skin in Jamaica and alter their appearance to look lighter. Stephanie Tharpe, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hydrogen peroxide in the formula acts like a fabric-safe bleach to fade stains like tomato sauce, coffee, fruit juice and more without damaging the fabric. Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 1 Sep. 2022 Be sure to scrub off any debris before soaking in the bleach solution. Shepard Price, San Antonio Express-News, 22 June 2022 Make sure to first wash your hands and disinfect your tools with a 10% bleach solution. Rita Pelczar, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 May 2022 To ensure your loofah is squeaky clean, soak it in a diluted bleach solution once a week for a few minutes. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 Dry equipment for at least five days or disinfect with hot water or a dilute bleach solution. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, 7 Dec. 2021 The same bleach solution can be used to wipe down counters and other work areas. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 Nov. 2021 When cleaning your cutting boards afterward, rub them with salt or use a bleach solution to help remove stains. Cooking. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021 After the autopsy, Rose said, Whiteley’s body was washed with a bleach solution as a COVID-19 precaution. Dallas News, 22 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bleach.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bleach


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bleach


Middle English blechen, from Old English blǣcean; akin to Old English blāc pale; probably akin to Latin flagrare to burn — more at black entry 1

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The first known use of bleach was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near bleach



bleached ginger

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Statistics for bleach

Last Updated

15 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bleach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for bleach


\ ˈblēch How to pronounce bleach (audio) \
bleached; bleaching

Kids Definition of bleach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make white by removing the color or stains from



Kids Definition of bleach (Entry 2 of 2)

: a chemical used for bleaching

More from Merriam-Webster on bleach

Nglish: Translation of bleach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bleach for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bleach


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