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cleanse

[klenz] /klɛnz/
verb (used with object), cleansed, cleansing.
1.
to make clean.
2.
to remove by or as if by cleaning:
to cleanse sin from the soul.
verb (used without object), cleansed, cleansing.
3.
to become clean.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English clensen, Old English clǣnsian, equivalent to clǣne clean + -si- v. suffix + -an infinitive suffix
Related forms
cleansable, adjective
recleanse, verb (used with object), recleansed, recleansing.
uncleansable, adjective
uncleansed, adjective
well-cleansed, adjective
Can be confused
clean, cleanse (see synonym study at clean)
Synonyms
1. See clean.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for cleanse
  • 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.
  • The plants in turn filter the water and cleanse it before returning to the fish tanks.
  • Saliva contains enzymes that begin the digestion process, and help cleanse the mouth by washing away bacteria and food particles.
  • Moisturizers moisturize, fresheners freshen and cleansers cleanse.
  • Folk forms could cleanse culture of the artificiality that, he felt, was poisoning modern life.
  • BP can then buy back the subsidiary or subsidiaries in bankruptcy and cleanse it of these liabilities.
  • Cosmetics are products people use to cleanse or change the look of the face or body.
British Dictionary definitions for cleanse

cleanse

/klɛnz/
verb (transitive)
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
Derived Forms
cleansable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English clǣnsian; related to Middle Low German klēnsen; see clean
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 cleanse
v.

Old English clænsian "to cleanse, purge, purify, chasten, justify," from West Germanic *klainson, from *klainoz (see clean (adj.)). Despite its modern spelling (16c.), it retains its Middle English pronunciation. Related: Cleansed; cleansing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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