verb (used with object), cleansed, cleansing.
to make clean.
to remove by or as if by cleaning: to cleanse sin from the soul.
verb (used without object), cleansed, cleansing.
to become clean.

before 900; Middle English clensen, Old English clǣnsian, equivalent to clǣne clean + -si- v. suffix + -an infinitive suffix

cleansable, adjective
recleanse, verb (used with object), recleansed, recleansing.
uncleansable, adjective
uncleansed, adjective
well-cleansed, adjective

clean, cleanse (see synonym study at clean).

1. See clean. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cleanse (klɛnz)
1.  to remove dirt, filth, etc, from
2.  to remove guilt from
3.  to remove a group of people from (an area) by means of ethnic cleansing
[Old English clǣnsian; related to Middle Low German klēnsen; see clean]

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

O.E. clænsian, from W.Gmc. *klainson, from *klainoz (see clean). Despite its modern spelling (16c.), it retains its M.E. pronunciation.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Flush the wound with water, cleanse with mild soap and wash the area thoroughly.
It aimed to cleanse the city's waterways of urban pollution in compliance with
  state and federal law.
The intense internal heat generated by his sort of yoga was meant to purify and
  cleanse the body.
Ethnically cleanse the land in order to become a majority.
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