[ klenz ]
/ klɛnz /

verb (used with object), cleansed, cleans·ing.

to make clean.
to remove by or as if by cleaning: to cleanse sin from the soul.

verb (used without object), cleansed, cleans·ing.

to become clean.

Nearby words

  1. cleanliness,
  2. cleanliness is next to godliness,
  3. cleanly,
  4. cleanness,
  5. cleanout,
  6. cleanser,
  7. cleansing,
  8. cleansing tissue,
  9. cleanskin,
  10. cleanthes

Origin of cleanse

before 900; Middle English clensen, Old English clǣnsian, equivalent to clǣne clean + -si- v. suffix + -an infinitive suffix

Related forms
Can be confusedclean cleanse (see synonym study at clean)

Synonym study

1. See clean. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cleanse

British Dictionary definitions for cleanse


/ (klɛnz) /

verb (tr)

to remove dirt, filth, etc, from
to remove guilt from
to remove a group of people from (an area) by means of ethnic cleansing
Derived Formscleansable, adjective

Word Origin for cleanse

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

Word Origin and History for cleanse



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