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[breyn-wosh, -wawsh] /ˈbreɪnˌwɒʃ, -ˌwɔʃ/
verb (used with object)
to cause (someone) to undergo brainwashing.
the process of brainwashing.
a subjection to brainwashing.
Also, brain-wash, brain wash.
Origin of brainwash
1950-55; back formation from brainwashing
Related forms
brainwasher, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for brainwash
  • Professors take advantage of this and teach lies to our kids in colleges and brainwash them.
  • And they have no right to try and brainwash the rest of us.
  • The government has become so good at brain washing future adults, that they getting children and teens to brainwash themselves.
  • He wants to brainwash you all some more into thinking his show is reality tv.
  • They explained to me what methods they use to brainwash you into their cults.
  • Apple had to brainwash half the population to make people buy them because they aren't actually useful.
  • First, they discharge us, then they send a guy in to brainwash us to sign back up.
  • These kids brainwash other kids to believe what they believe.
British Dictionary definitions for brainwash


(transitive) to effect a radical change in the ideas and beliefs of (a person), esp by methods based on isolation, sleeplessness, hunger, extreme discomfort, pain, and the alternation of kindness and cruelty
Derived Forms
brainwasher, noun
brainwashing, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for brainwash

1955 (past participle adjective brainwashed attested from 1953); see brainwashing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for brainwash



: Your line is persuasive, virtually a brainwash

  1. To cause profound attitudinal changes, usually in a prisoner, by psychological conditioning, supplemented by drugs and physical abuse
  2. To change or influence someone's opinions or attitude by methods less stringent than those used on prisoners: They were brainwashed into joining that crazy cult

[1950s+; fr Chinese hsi nao, ''wash brain,'' which came into US use during and after the Korean War, apparently because of its use by North Koreans and their Chinese allies as custodians of US prisoners of war]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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