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2017 Word of the Year

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 of cleanse
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)
Synonym Study
1. See clean.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cleanse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I was about to cleanse your body, and to clear it of its bad humours.

  • And it wanted only a dozen purgatives to cleanse it entirely.

  • We have forgotten that water can cleanse, and fire purify, and that the Earth is mother to us all.

    De Profundis Oscar Wilde
  • It's surely time to drive her out of the temple, and cleanse it a little.

  • cleanse me from the sin of worldly vanity that troubles me!'

    Father Sergius Leo Tolstoy
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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Nearby words for cleanse

Word Value for cleanse

9
12
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