cleanse

verb
\ˈklenz \
cleansed; cleansing; cleanses

Definition of cleanse 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : clean especially : to rid of impurities by or as if by washing

2 : to expel, imprison, or kill (the members of an ethnic minority) in (an area) : to subject to or remove by ethnic cleansing In 1996, tens of thousands of ethnic Tutsis, most of them of Rwandan origin, were murdered or ethnically cleansed in the Masisi region of eastern Zaire.— David Rieff

intransitive verb

: to engage in or undergo a cleanse to remove toxins from the body Some people who cleanse say they experience dramatic physical changes.— Karen Hube

cleanse

noun

Definition of cleanse (Entry 2 of 2)

: a very restrictive short-term diet primarily intended to remove toxins from the body Under the supervision of her nutritionist … Gillian Anderson has reportedly participated in cleanses that consist of little more than liquids for 10 days.— J. D. Heiman … told me about her 28-day cleanse, which limits the caffeine, sugar, gluten, dairy and red meat in your diet.— Jon Harris

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Synonyms & Antonyms for cleanse

Synonyms: Verb

clean, turn out

Antonyms: Verb

besmirch, dirty, foul, soil, spot, stain, sully

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Examples of cleanse in a Sentence

Verb

The cut should be cleansed gently with mild soap and water. in an elaborate ritual the priestess cleansed the gathering of supplicants

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The temptation to operate on assumptions when facing off against an unknown adversary is real and toxic, so cleanse it from your system. Michael Andor Brodeur, BostonGlobe.com, "5 (pretty easy) steps to improve civility online," 6 July 2018 These organs work together to cleanse your body from head to toe. Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News, "Health Matters: Is a "detox diet" good or bad for your health?," 13 July 2018 Even though Meghan Markle had to cleanse her personal social-media accounts — and delete her lifestyle blog — before her upcoming May 19 wedding to Prince Harry, it’s known that many royals have social-media presences. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Which Royals Have Secret Social-Media Accounts?," 1 May 2018 During an initiation ceremony, Graham removed his shirt and was bathed with water to cleanse his soul before entering a hut with candles and voodoo sculptures. Ben Brasch, ajc, "KSU student who found brother from DNA test finds more — his homeland," 25 Apr. 2018 Several times in the distant past, our home planet has been cleansed of its residents, with the exception of a few plucky survivors. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Did plants cause one of Earth’s great extinctions?," 3 Mar. 2018 Use a product like Christophe Robin's Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt once a week in place of your shampoo to cleanse, soothe, and hydrate the scalp in one step. Karina Hoshikawa, Teen Vogue, "How to Treat Dandruff: Best Hair Products and Treatments," 6 July 2018 Then comes a super hydrating toner to balance my skin’s pH after cleansing (water can be too alkaline). Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "How I Used Korean Skin Care to Treat My Eczema," 16 Feb. 2018 The process of cleansing natural curls is kind of like making a soufflé: A lot of waiting around and temperature adjustments are involved in order to keep coils defined and frizz-free. Devon Abelman, Allure, "11 Curl-Washing Tips From Real Women With Kinky-Curly Hair," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

During her trips out West, de Castro—who, only a few months prior, had jumped on the cleanse bandwagon, citing its ability to help her lose weight, clear brain fog, and ease anxiety—noticed L.A.’s lack of juiceries. Colleen Leahey Mckeegan, Marie Claire, "The Business of Feeling Good," 11 July 2018 Reset your digestive system and boost your metabolism with a cleanse from a local juice company, such as The Juicy Cafe. Olivia Hall, The Seattle Times, "Overstressed? 15 wellness trends to help you relax," 3 July 2018 Following a quick cleanse and lymphatic drainage, Elena performs microdermabrasion, which involves the use of crystals to deeply exfoliate and brighten the face. Kate Branch, Vogue, "Why a Cryotherapy Facial Is the Best Way to Brighter, Tighter Skin," 30 June 2018 His lasting contribution to the field was the invention of the apple cider vinegar cleanse, which returned with a vengeance a few years ago, this time powered by models and actresses such as Miranda Kerr, Hilary Duff, and Megan Fox. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "An Unofficial History of Rich Women and Their Diets," 10 Apr. 2018 For serious health food enthusiasts, there is the juice pharmacy, which has drinks for different medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, colds, weight loss, detox cleanse and more. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "R&R Poké, offering Hawaiian-style raw fish and rice bowls, to open up in Wauwatosa soon," 29 June 2018 The juice-only cleanse is iZO’s Superfood Cleanse, and is a favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "This Is the Juice Cleanse that Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest Are Doing: 'It's a Restart'," 6 June 2018 Josh also shares behind-the-scenes details of his conversation with Kim Kardashian West the following night, where the reality star discussed Kanye, Cher, her recent cleanse, and a lot more. Josh Duboff, Vanities, "An Inside Look at What Went on at Rihanna’s Met Ball After-Party," 11 May 2018 The signature Joule treatment (Monday-Thursday, $295; Friday-Sunday, $310) begins with a signature foot ritual and then moves into a gentle facial cleanse and a Himalayan salt dry-body brushing treatment. Anna Caplan, star-telegram, "Give mom a taste of indulgence at these Texas spas | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 8 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of cleanse

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1999, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cleanse

Verb

Middle English clensen, from Old English clǣnsian to purify, from clǣne clean

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Learn More about cleanse

Phrases Related to cleanse

cleanse the palate

Statistics for cleanse

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cleanse

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

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More Definitions for cleanse

cleanse

verb
\ˈklenz \
cleansed; cleansing

Kids Definition of cleanse

: to make clean Cleanse the wound with soap and water.

cleanse

transitive verb
\ˈklenz\
cleansed; cleansing

Medical Definition of cleanse 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: to make clean

intransitive verb

: to engage in or undergo a cleanse to remove toxins from the body

cleanse

noun

Medical Definition of cleanse (Entry 2 of 2)

: a very restrictive short-term diet primarily intended to remove toxins from the body

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