I. verb Etymology: Middle English blechen, from Old English blǣcean; akin to Old English blāc pale; probably akin to Latin flagrare to burn — more at black Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. to remove color or stains from 2. a. to make whiter or lighter especially by physical or chemical removal of color <
bleach clothing
the sun had bleached her hair
b. to remove, make dull, or sanitize as if by removing color <
bleaches colonialism of its genocidal legacy — H. A. Giroux
intransitive verb 1. to grow white or lose color 2. of coral ; to expel symbiotic zooxanthellae exposing a white skeleton • bleachable adjective II. noun Date: 1887 1. the act or process of bleaching 2. a preparation used in bleaching 3. the degree of whiteness obtained by bleaching

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Bleach — Bleach, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Bleached}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Bleaching}.] [OE. blakien, blechen, v. t. & v. i., AS. bl[=a]cian, bl?can, to grow pale; akin to Icel. bleikja, Sw. bleka, Dan. blege, D. bleeken, G. bleichen, AS. bl[=a]c pale. See {Bleak} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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