- 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 for bleach on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bleached
With bleached eyebrows and a light-pink tinted blunt bob—close to that of Jane Jetson—models sported a futuristic look.Marc Jacobs is on Cloud Nine at New York Fashion Week
February 14, 2014
Even today, the hill is still covered with bleached British bones.‘A War for No Wise Purpose’: Afghanistan Defeats the West Again
April 17, 2013
In real life, hers is an androgynous beauty: a punkish style, curveless body, and bleached boyish short hair.Agyness Deyn in ‘Pusher’: On Stripping, Acting, and How She’s Not Done Modeling
October 24, 2012
He saw an infant's fleshless bones the elements had bleached!The Universal Reciter
His hair was bleached and his cheeks bronzed by the sun and the wind.Henry IV, Makers of History
John S. C. Abbott
Cress, Romaine, or bleached chicory may be used in place of lettuce.Sandwiches
Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer
The Caucassian of today is now believed by men of science to be only a bleached negro.The Bondwoman
Marah Ellis Ryan
Its sand-banks might have been made of bleached bones, they looked so gray and dead.The Mermaid
- 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 bleached
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.