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

The Deal: Banila Co's Clean it Zero cleansing balm has amassed hundred of five-star reviews from Amazon shoppers, and the full-sized jar (normally $26) will be marked down to just $20 on July 15th and 16th. refinery29.com, "The Pro's Guide To The Best Beauty Haul For Amazon Prime Day," 15 July 2019 Go to a dermatologist to decide if an over-the-counter formula would work best or get a prescription-strength solution. Gliding some cleanser over skin for 20 seconds then splashing some cold water on your face is not cleansing. The Cut, "16 Ways to Become a Skin-Care Expert," 5 Feb. 2018 Learn how to cleanse, charge, and set intentions with your stones, create gem elixirs, and more. courant.com, "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 22 July 2019 The treatment starts by gently cleansing the skin with an antibacterial towelette, to clear away any impurities, followed by an application of Exfoliant•K Mentholated Face and Body Scrub. Rachel Marlowe, The Hollywood Reporter, "Is the Butt Facial the Must-Have Beauty Treatment of the Summer?," 16 July 2019 These ultra-moisturizing formulas cleanse and nourish without stripping curls natural oils for a beautiful, soft finish that won’t fall flat in the Louisiana heat. Essence, "Your Guide to ESSENCE Festival Hair: The Best Style for the Best Weekend Ever," 2 July 2019 Because chlorine bleach is an ineffective means of killing the parasite, child care workers should cleanse any and all surfaces with hydrogen peroxide. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "CDC releases warning for 'crypto' fecal parasite in swimming pools," 1 July 2019 To cleanse, skip the basic body wash and reach for an antibacterial soap or benzoyl peroxide wash like Neutrogena’s Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser. Zoe Weiner, Glamour, "Your 4-Step Guide to Curing Butt Acne Once and for All," 2 June 2019 Our beauty director’s must-haves: a do-it-all hydrating balm, cleansing wipes for your face or hands (or the seat), and a lightly scented hand sanitizer. Nicole Saporita, Good Housekeeping, "14 Genius Packing Tips to Help You Travel Like a Pro," 9 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After a quick cleanse, Demie applies a hydrating serum to properly moisturize her canvas. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Euphoria’s Alexa Demie Shares Her ’90s Glam Tutorial," 30 July 2019 The High Altitude Facial ($230), for example, incorporates a lemon cream cleanse, a papaya pineapple mask and biogenic topical serums to revitalize and smooth the skin. Sarah Kuta, The Know, "Serious self-care: A guide to Colorado’s must-visit spas," 30 July 2019 Assigning moral value to what was on my plate meant that one too many bites of pie would need to be followed by some sort of miserable cleanse, which of course fueled the endless restrict-binge-repeat cycle. SELF, "I'm an R.D. Who Lets Her Kid Eat Dessert Before Veggies. Before You Judge Me, Hear Me Out," 5 July 2019 When a complaint inevitably does pop into your head during the cleanse, try not to get frustrated with yourself, said Jovon Bernal, a meditation teacher and owner of Downey Yoga. Sara Cagle, latimes.com, "Want to embrace mindfulness? Try a complaint cleanse first," 28 June 2019 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

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

14 Aug 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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