American English

Definition of cleanse verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they cleanse
    he / she / it cleanses
    past simple cleansed
    -ing form cleansing
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] cleanse (something) to clean something or make it pure, especially your skin or a wound a cleansing cream Thesauruscleanwash rinse cleanse dry-cleanThese words all mean to remove dirt from something, especially by using water and/or soap.clean to remove dirt or dust from something, especially by using water or chemicals:The house is cleaned twice a week.wash to remove dirt from something using water and usually soap:He quickly washed his hands and face. These jeans need to be washed.rinse to remove dirt, etc. from something using clean water only, not soap; to remove the soap from something with clean water after washing it:Rinse the cooked pasta with boiling water. Make sure you rinse out all the soap.cleanse to clean something or make it pure, especially your skin or a wounddry-clean to clean clothes using chemicals instead of waterPatterns to clean/wash/rinse/cleanse something in/with something to clean/wash/rinse/cleanse something from something to clean/wash/cleanse a wound to clean/wash the car/floor to wash/rinse your hair to have something cleaned/washed/dry-cleaned
  2. 2[transitive] cleanse somebody (of/from something) (literary) to take away someone's guilty feelings or SIN She felt cleansed of her sins after confession. see also ethnic cleansing
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: cleanse