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cleanse

[klenz]
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verb (used with object), cleansed, cleans·ing.
  1. to make clean.
  2. to remove by or as if by cleaning: to cleanse sin from the soul.
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verb (used without object), cleansed, cleans·ing.
  1. to become clean.
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Origin of cleanse

before 900; Middle English clensen, Old English clǣnsian, equivalent to clǣne clean + -si- v. suffix + -an infinitive suffix
Related formscleans·a·ble, adjectivere·cleanse, verb (used with object), re·cleansed, re·cleans·ing.un·cleans·a·ble, adjectiveun·cleansed, adjectivewell-cleansed, adjective
Can be confusedclean cleanse (see synonym study at clean)

Synonym study

1. See clean.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cleanse

cleanse

verb (tr)
  1. to remove dirt, filth, etc, from
  2. to remove guilt from
  3. to remove a group of people from (an area) by means of ethnic cleansing
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Derived Formscleansable, adjective

Word Origin

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

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper