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.

O.E. clænsunge, noun of action from the root of cleanse. As a pp. adj., attested from c.1300.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
That's because facial hair is more resistant to cleansing after exposure in a
  laboratory setting.
The faithful believe its waters are cleansing, but science tells a different
Then the students rated products, including cleansing ones such as soap or
The article said there could be no cleansing of soot in the upper atmosphere
  because rain falls below that point.
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