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

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," 28 June 2019 Next up, the vanilla milk toner is a gentle essence that goes on as your first skincare step after cleansing. Meagan Fredette, Teen Vogue, "Does KylieSkin Care Live Up To The Hype?," 22 May 2019 After cleansing, apply a couple of drops of the brightening Ferulic Acid and Vitamins C and E Serum ($40). Lauren Swanson, Allure, "Amazon Launches Its First-Ever Skin-Care Line Today — and Everything's Under $40," 20 Mar. 2019 Trump owes presidency to Putin and is repaying him Impeachment is imperative as the only way to cleanse our national shame of having Trump as our president. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Trump owes presidency to Putin and is repaying him," 5 June 2019 Even if your options for a decent cleanser and solid routine are seemingly endless, don’t wash your hands (or face) of cleansing altogether. Sara Coughlin, SELF, "Is Double Cleansing Truly Worth Your Precious Time?," 1 May 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

3 Jul 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

Comments on cleanse

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