• synonyms


See more synonyms for cleanse on Thesaurus.com
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

Related Words for cleanse

purge, restore, disinfect, sanitize, scrub, expurgate, clear, purify, absolve, launder, clarify, sterilize, refine, clean, lustrate, rinse, scour

Examples from the Web for cleanse

Contemporary Examples of cleanse

Historical Examples of cleanse

British Dictionary definitions for 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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper