- to make whiter or lighter in color, as by exposure to sunlight or a chemical agent; remove the color from.
- Photography. to convert (the silver image of a negative or print) to a silver halide, either to remove the image or to change its tone.
- to become whiter or lighter in color.
- a bleaching agent.
- degree of paleness achieved in bleaching.
- an act of bleaching.
Origin of bleach
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for unbleached
He was barefoot, but he wore a clean shirt of unbleached cotton, open at the neck.O Pioneers!
For this the pattern is cut from the whole piece and appliquéd on unbleached cotton.Quilts
Marie D. Webster
If tape is used it should be unbleached, such as the sailmakers use.Bookbinding, and the Care of Books
The best sea-stockings are those of substantial, unbleached cotton.Miss Leslie's Lady's New Receipt-Book
The thread with which books are sewn is usually made of linen, unbleached.Notes on Bookbinding for Libraries
John Cotton Dana
- not having been made or become white or lighter through exposure to sunlight or by the action of chemical agents, etc
- to make or become white or colourless, as by exposure to sunlight, by the action of chemical agents, etc
- a bleaching agent
- the degree of whiteness resulting from bleaching
- the act of bleaching
Word Origin and History for unbleached
Old English blæcan "bleach, whiten," from Proto-Germanic *blaikjan "to make white" (cf. Old Saxon blek, Old Norse bleikr, Dutch bleek, Old High German bleih, German bleich "pale;" Old Norse bleikja, Dutch bleken, German bleichen "to bleach"), from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (cf. Sanskrit bhrajate "shines;" Greek phlegein "to burn;" Latin flamma "flame," fulmen "lightning," fulgere "to shine, flash," flagrare "to burn;" Old Church Slavonic belu "white;" Lithuanian balnas "pale").
The same root probably produced black; perhaps because both black and white are colorless, or because both are associated with burning. Cf. Old English scimian, related to the source of shine (n.), meaning both "to shine" and "to dim, grow dusky, grow dark." Related: Bleached; bleaching.
"act of bleaching," 1887; "a bleaching agent," 1898, probably directly from bleach (v.). The Old English noun blæce meant "leprosy;" Late Old English also had blæco "paleness," and Middle English had blech "whitening or bleaching agent."
- A chemical agent used to whiten or remove color from textiles, paper, food, and other substances and materials. Chlorine, sodium hypochlorite, and hydrogen peroxide are bleaches. Bleaches remove color by oxidation or reduction.