Definition of deterge
: to wash off : cleanse
deterge was our Word of the Day on 06/04/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of deterge in a sentence
deterge the surface using an industrial-strength commercial soap
Did You Know?
Deterge is not a particularly common word in the English language. However, it is related to a word with which most of us are likely familiar: "detergent." Like "detergent," "deterge" comes (possibly by way of French déterger) from the Latin verb detergēre, itself from de- and tergēre ("to wipe"). "Deterge" entered the English language in the early 1600s and has primarily been used in medical contexts, such as Ambrose Cooper's 1757 recipe for Vulnerary Water: "This Water is of excellent Service in Contusions, Tumors attending Dislocation, Fractures and Mortifications, the Part affected being bathed with it. Some also use it to deterge foul Ulcers, and incarn Wounds…."
Origin and Etymology of deterge
French or Latin; French déterger, from Latin detergēre, from de- + tergēre to wipe
First Known Use: circa 1623
Learn More about deterge
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deterge
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