(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)
- To treat with bleach, especially so as to whiten (fabric, paper, etc) or lighten (hair).
- (intransitive, biology, of corals) to lose color due to stress-induced expulsion of symbiotic unicellular algae.
- Once coral bleaching begins, corals tend to continue to bleach even if the stressor is removed.
(countable and uncountable, plural bleaches)
- (uncountable) A chemical, such as sodium hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide, or a preparation of such a chemical, used for disinfecting or whitening.
- (countable) A variety of bleach.
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”).
- A disease of the skin.
From Middle English bleche, from Old English blǣċe (“irritation of the skin, leprosy; psoriasis”).