cleanse

verb
\ ˈklenz How to pronounce cleanse (audio) \
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 for cleanse

Synonyms: Verb

purge, purify, sanctify

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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

Fans of all ages can get their hands on products like sheet masks, lip balms, headbands, hand creams, cleansing towelettes, sleep masks, and eyelashes for — get this — less than $10. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Sanrio Is Launching Hello Kitty Skin Care With The Créme Shop, and I Need It Right Meow," 2 Oct. 2018 So the spa world is: cleanse... BP: Exfoliate, extract... Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "How One New York Facialist Seriously Changed My Life," 19 Aug. 2016 Burning candles made with essential oils can also have the same room- and aura-cleansing benefits. Alyssa Nassner, Curbed, "Cleansing 101: Keeping your home’s energy in check," 17 Oct. 2018 After cleansing, massage a thin layer of moisturizer all over your face (avoiding the eyelids), letting the cream sink in for 5-10 minutes before applying your foundation. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "This Is the Absolute Best Way to Apply Foundation," 25 June 2018 The unused mansion had been auctioned, cleansed with rock 'n' roll music and opened to the world as America’s Most Wanted Bed & Breakfast, offering outsiders the chance to stay in a once-sacred mansion for just $99 a night. Alden Woods, azcentral, "Outsiders, FLDS battle for control of towns Warren Jeffs left behind," 27 Mar. 2018 Turns out, not only does our body burn fat and our brain reset in the middle of the night, but every organ cleanses itself, too. Kate Branch, Vogue, "The Healthy Diet of the Future Focuses On When—Not Just What—You Eat," 1 Aug. 2018 Scorpion finds Drake cleansing himself with intense self-reflection but in a way more authentic manner than when compared to 2016's VIEWS. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Ranking Each Song From Side A of Drake's 'Scorpion' Album: Critic's Take," 29 June 2018 Behold, the baixada de falles: a purifying ritual where villagers carry burning sticks of fire from the mountains to the towns, cleansing them of evil spirits that could damage harvests. Gemma Askham, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Best Day Trips from Barcelona," 4 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And packing your own juice cleanse for your upcoming trip home isn’t exactly practical (or fun). Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "How To Stay Healthy—and Eat What You Want—This Holiday Season," 7 Dec. 2018 James moved to Los Angeles for work and went on a two-week cleanse without alcohol, gluten, dairy and sugar. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Lakers Have LeBron James. Now What?," 16 Oct. 2018 Crush one in you hand and add water, and watch it transform into a rich, creamy lather for a super-deep cleanse. Lauren Valenti, Marie Claire, "5 "Skintertainment" Products You and Your Girlfriends Should Try Tonight," 9 Sep. 2016 Before you do a phone cleanse, open the app and find that account-deletion option. Katherine Bindley, WSJ, "Don’t Be Haunted by Digital Ghosts: Delete Your Old Accounts," 12 Oct. 2018 For the last two weeks, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest have been doing a mysterious new cleanse — with one of them handling it better than the other. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "This Is the Juice Cleanse that Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest Are Doing: 'It's a Restart'," 6 June 2018 One of Coltrane’s earliest biographers, C.O. Simpkins, described the quartet’s shows in these years — with Mr. Jones lighting fires and Mr. Tyner splashing them with multihued harmonies — as a kind of euphoric cleanse. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "Lost John Coltrane Recording From 1963 Will Be Released at Last," 7 June 2018 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

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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Statistics for cleanse

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

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

English Language Learners Definition of cleanse

: to make (someone or something) clean

cleanse

verb
\ ˈklenz How to pronounce cleanse (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on cleanse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cleanse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cleanse

Spanish Central: Translation of cleanse

Nglish: Translation of cleanse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cleanse for Arabic Speakers

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