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 cleansed the wound It's that mystical state most athletes are lucky to achieve a few times in their careers. The mind is cleansed. The body is free. — Jon Wertheim
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

In an old interview with beauty blog Beauty Banter, Meghan revealed an obsession with Bioré cleansing cloths. Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Once Gushed About Buying Bioré Cleansing Cloths in Bulk," 30 Mar. 2019 People have long sought relief from eczema—the itchy, scaly, rash-causing skin disorder that affects one in 10 Americans—in lotions, cleansing creams and special soaps. Susan Kitchens, WSJ, "Bacteria May Offer New Hope for Treating Skin Disorders," 5 Feb. 2019 Every single shampoo, oil, conditioner, and hair mask has moisturizing, conditioning, and cleansing benefits made specially for natural hair textures. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "The 15 Best Black-Owned Beauty Brands I'll Never Stop Talking About," 11 Feb. 2019 For a thorough wellness immersion, COMO Shambhala Estate is one of the earth's most exquisite locations, with truly immersive Ayurvedic and cleanse-focused regimens, acres of mossy forest paths, and its own holy water spring. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 Several other states that use the failure to vote as a trigger in efforts to cleanse their registration rolls could be affected by the high court's decision in the Ohio case, including Georgia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "U.S. Supreme Court ruling means Wisconsin can continue purging its voter rolls every 4 years," 11 June 2018 That is, until my editor challenged me to try out the latest launch from cleansing brush purveyor Foreo, the Luna Fofo. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "The Foreo Luna Fofo Might Be the Best Cleansing Brush I've Ever Tried," 4 Oct. 2018 For cleansing her face and body, a droplet of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap goes a long way. Gray Chapman, SELF, "How Hikers Do Skin-Care on Long Backpacking Trips," 28 July 2018 Inside the PhoneSoap are blue bulbs under glass and a reflective surface that helps bathe the device in cleansing light. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, WSJ, "Should I Sanitize My Smartphone?," 27 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even if a juice cleanse is not in your foreseeable future, this rose gold juicer is still worth the consideration. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "18 Pink Home Items to Gift This Valentine’s Day," 7 Feb. 2019 The milky emulsion also contains leucidal liquid, which is a natural preservative comprised of radish root ferment that has anti-bacterial properties i.e. your hair will also get a nice natural cleanse in the process. Lauren Valenti, Marie Claire, ""Hair Water" Is the Ancient Japanese Beauty Trend Making a Big Comeback Right Now," 23 Mar. 2016 The cleanser, which counts sulfur, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid as key ingredients, has a creamy consistency that lathers into a soft foam to offer a thorough cleanse. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "Exclusive: M-61 Is Launching a Cleanser and Moisturizer for Adult Acne," 11 Mar. 2019 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

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

8 May 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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