[ 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.

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 confused

clean 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 Forms

cleansable, 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