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

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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 Upon arrival, Olga will even take guests on a meditation walk, an ancient Japanese practice to help cleanse their auras and welcome them to the ZenHouse. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "You Can Rent the Peaceful Outdoor Studio Where Mount Rushmore Was Partially Built," 5 Jan. 2021 Rain and mountain snow was also forecast to fall in Central California through Sunday night, with forecasters hoping the precipitation would dampen wildfires in the Sierra and finally cleanse the atmosphere in the San Joaquin Valley. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, "Winter storm brings rain, snow and cold temperatures to L.A. area," 8 Nov. 2020 The trendy feminine care brand has become very popular on social media thanks to its plethora of all-natural products designed to cleanse and rejuvenate down there, from feminine wipes to organic wash. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "20 Black-owned businesses to support this holiday season," 3 Dec. 2020 Finally, the acidity of a good dressing will help cleanse your palate between bites of everything else. Washington Post, "Seasonal salad recipes to add color and crunch to your holiday table," 25 Nov. 2020 To cleanse their sins and achieve rebirth, worshipers bathe at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers (and a third, mythical river called the Saraswati). Rajesh Kumar Singh, National Geographic, "What history tells us about Thanksgiving in tough times," 16 Nov. 2020 This set that’s meant to cleanse, treat, brighten and moisturize skin includes a cleanser, dark spot solution, eye treatment and face cream. Kiana Murden, CNN Underscored, "36 gorgeous gift options at Nordstrom under $100," 13 Nov. 2020 Don't forget to cleanse your palate beforehand with my CBD formulation for Gossamer and Rose Los Angeles collab. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "7 De-Stressing Recipes You'll Need to Make It Through Election Week," 2 Nov. 2020 Modern-day dry shampoo was invented in the 1940s as a way to cleanse your hair without using water. Julie Ricevuto, Allure, "The Science of Beauty: How to Use the 7 Types of Shampoo," 25 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another favorite cleanse of mine: Reorganizing my phone’s home screen. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Kicking off the new year with a screen cleanse," 5 Jan. 2021 Lizzo is defending herself after receiving backlash for social media posts documenting a 10-day smoothie cleanse. NBC News, "Lizzo responds to backlash for sharing smoothie detox: 'Big girls do whatever u want with your bodies'," 15 Dec. 2020 With eight intensities to choose from, this popular model by Foreo uses pulsations of silicone bristles to wash away impurities in a quick one-minute cleanse. Kiana Murden, CNN Underscored, "46 beauty products you should honestly just gift yourself," 24 Nov. 2020 Maybe Lautner decided to do a phone cleanse or hasn't been checking his emails, but in any case, since 2020 is a wash, the world is now calling on him to do the right thing and save 2021. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "Twitter Is Roasting The Taylor Lautner Imposter In Netflix’s Sharkboy & Lavagirl Sequel," 18 Nov. 2020 Angelica Coleman, @angieidunno Need the mental cleanse of the great outdoors? Michella Oré, Glamour, "31 Inspiring Fitness Women to Follow on Instagram," 17 Nov. 2020 Miley Cyrus' last round of unfollowings may have turned out to have been false, but this latest Instagram cleanse is hard to deny. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Miley Cyrus and Cody Simpson Just Unfollowed Each Other on Instagram Three Months After Breaking Up," 16 Nov. 2020 Styles has been on a six-day juice cleanse in readiness for Vogue’s photographer Tyler Mitchell. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Playtime With Harry Styles," 13 Nov. 2020 This vegan, cruelty-free hand wash that smells simply divine is formulated for a gentle cleanse without dehydrating the skin. Kiana Murden, CNN Underscored, "36 gorgeous gift options at Nordstrom under $100," 13 Nov. 2020

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 at sense 1

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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Time Traveler for cleanse

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cleanse

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cleanse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cleanse. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cleanse

cleanse

verb
How to pronounce cleanse (audio)

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.
\ 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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