or brain-wash, brain wash

[ breyn-wosh, -wawsh ]
/ ˈbreɪnˌwɒʃ, -ˌwɔʃ /

verb (used with object)

to cause (someone) to undergo brainwashing.


the process of brainwashing.
a subjection to brainwashing.

Origin of brainwash

First recorded in 1950–55; back formation from brainwashing
Related formsbrain·wash·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brainwash

British Dictionary definitions for brainwash


/ (ˈbreɪnˌwɒʃ) /


(tr) to effect a radical change in the ideas and beliefs of (a person), esp by methods based on isolation, sleeplessness, hunger, extreme discomfort, pain, and the alternation of kindness and cruelty
Derived Formsbrainwasher, nounbrainwashing, noun
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

Word Origin and History for brainwash



1955 (past participle adjective brainwashed attested from 1953); see brainwashing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper