- to remove some or all color from, as by means of chemicals or by exposure to the sun's rays
- to whiten; blanch
Origin of bleachMiddle English blechen from Old English bl?can from Indo-European an unverified form bhl?ig-, to gleam (from source bleak) from base an unverified form bhel-, to gleam from source black, Old Norse blikja, turn pale
- a bleaching or whitening
- any substance used for bleaching
- the degree of whiteness resulting from bleaching
verbbleached, bleach·ing, bleach·es
- a. To remove the color from, as by means of chemical agents or sunlight: Over time, the exposure to sunlight bleached the rug in front of the window.b. To make white or colorless: Dawn bleached the mountains.
- To whiten by causing the death or expulsion of algal symbionts from (coral).
- To act as or use a bleach.
- To become white as a result of the loss of algal symbionts, usually following an environmental stress such as increased water temperature. Used of coral.
- A chemical agent used for bleaching.
- a. The act of bleaching.b. The degree of bleaching obtained.
Origin of bleachMiddle English blechen from Old English blǣcan ; see bhel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(comparative bleacher or more bleach, superlative bleachest or most bleach)
- (archaic) Pale; bleak.
From Middle English bleche (also bleke), from Old English blǣċ, blǣc, variants of Old English blāc (“bright, shining, glittering, flashing; bleak, pale, pallid, wan, livid”), from Proto-Germanic *blaikaz (“pale, shining”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlē- (“to shimmer, gleam, shine”). More at bleak.
(third-person singular simple present bleaches, present participle bleaching, simple past and past participle bleached)
(countable and uncountable, plural bleaches)
From Middle English blechen, from Old English blǣċan (“to bleach, whiten”), from Proto-Germanic *blaikijaną, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (“to shine”). Cognate with Dutch bleken (“to bleach”), German bleichen (“to bleach”), Danish blege, Swedish bleka (“to bleach”). Related to Old English blāc (“pale”) (English blake; cf. also bleak).
- An act of bleaching; exposure to the sun.
From Middle English bleche, from Old English blǣċu, blǣċo (“paleness, pallor”), from Proto-Germanic *blaikį̄ (“paleness”).
From Middle English bleche, from Old English blǣċe (“irritation of the skin, leprosy; psoriasis”).