1 [blanch, blahnch]
verb (used with object)
to whiten by removing color; bleach: Workers were blanching linen in the sun.
to scald briefly and then drain, as peaches or almonds to facilitate removal of skins, or as rice or macaroni to separate the grains or strands.
to scald or parboil (meat or vegetables) so as to whiten, remove the odor, prepare for cooking by other means, etc.
Horticulture. (of the stems or leaves of plants, as celery or lettuce) to whiten or prevent from becoming green by excluding light.
to give a white luster to (metals), as by means of acids.
to coat (sheet metal) with tin.
to make pale, as with sickness or fear: The long illness had blanched her cheeks of their natural color.
verb (used without object)
to become white; turn pale: The very thought of going made him blanch.

1300–50; Middle English bla(u)nchen < Anglo-French, Middle French blanchir to whiten, derivative of blanc, blanche white; see blank

blancher, noun

1. See whiten. Unabridged


2 [blanch, blahnch]
verb (used with object)
to force back or to one side; head off, as a deer or other quarry.

1565–75; variant of blench1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
blanch (blɑːntʃ)
vb (usually foll by over)
1.  (also intr) to remove colour from, or (of colour) to be removed; whiten; fade: the sun blanched the carpet; over the years the painting blanched
2.  (usually intr) to become or cause to become pale, as with sickness or fear
3.  to plunge tomatoes, nuts, etc, into boiling water to loosen the skin
4.  to plunge (meat, green vegetables, etc) in boiling water or bring to the boil in water in order to whiten, preserve the natural colour, or reduce or remove a bitter or salty taste
5.  to cause (celery, chicory, etc) to grow free of chlorophyll by the exclusion of sunlight
6.  metallurgy to whiten (a metal), usually by treating it with an acid or by coating it with tin
7.  to attempt to conceal something
[C14: from Old French blanchir from blanc white; see blank]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"to make white, turn pale," late 14c., from O.Fr. blanchir "to whiten, wash," from blanc "white" (11c.; see blank). Originally "to remove the hull of (almonds, etc.) by soaking." Intransitive sense of "to turn white" is from 1768.

"to start back, turn aside," 1570s, variant of blench (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Blanch for two minutes, and transfer to the ice water.
Other governments blanch at bribing people to do something that is already in
  their interest.
Covered center leaves will blanch to yellow or white.
Blanch for three minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water and drain.
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