Definition of bleach in English:

bleach

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Cause (a material such as cloth, paper, or hair) to become white or much lighter by a chemical process or by exposure to sunlight.

    ‘a new formula to bleach and brighten clothing’
    ‘permed and bleached hair’
    • ‘Her hair was bleached blonde and swaying at her hips.’
    • ‘In the early 1990s, 46 of the 145 pulp mills in Canada used various chlorine bleaching processes to whiten paper.’
    • ‘Everything (including most of the people) looked a bit bleached and tired in the hazy sunshine, an effect which is easily remedied by donning sunglasses with a brown tint.’
    • ‘He had bleached his hair almost white and spiked it into a number of horns all over his head.’
    • ‘They say the boots are the perfect finishing touch for their artificial tans, bleached hair, white make-up and bright scanty skirts.’
    • ‘Up to 75% of those who develop dermatitis are left with discoloured or bleached skin.’
    • ‘Mickey had short bleached-blonde hair and a sandpapery growth of stubble on his chin.’
    • ‘With each piece of bleached, dead coral washed ashore, the marine ecosystem comes that much closer to being a watery wasteland.’
    • ‘The problem is that if you used a home hair color kit to obtain a lighter color, your hair has been bleached and colored in a single process.’
    • ‘The solution used to bleach hair softens and swells the cuticles cells, but it also contain hydrogen peroxide to release oxygen.’
    • ‘Thick, tousled hair bleached a near white from excessive sunlight twisted about his head, whipping and snagging in the wind's grasp.’
    • ‘Sodium chlorite, hypochlorite, perborate, and peroxide are used to bleach paper, cotton, and rayon.’
    • ‘Paper is traditionally bleached with chlorine and chemicals derived from it (such as chlorine dioxide).’
    • ‘CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta says some people have become tooth-bleaching junkies.’
    • ‘Morgan stopped and looked up into the sky, the moon shining directly on his long hair, bleaching it so white, he looked like his brother.’
    • ‘The whole process involved first bleaching my hair to a shade lighter than my natural jet-black, and then applying the blue hair colour.’
    • ‘It is also possible to bleach paper through an oxidation process that uses no chlorine at all.’
    • ‘I had to gather it up and wash and bleach it to get the muddy paw prints out of the sheets.’
    • ‘His features were similarly pleasant: dark brown hair, some strands bleached a lighter shade by the sun, intelligent eyes, and a strong nose and mouth.’
    • ‘Somehow here, this battered and bleached hut is home to many poor people; they live off begged and stolen food, in a room blackened by the smoke of the struggling stove.’
    make white, turn white, whiten, make pale, turn pale, make pallid, turn pallid, blanch, lighten, fade, wash out, decolour, decolorize, peroxide, etiolate
    become white, go white, grow white, turn white, whiten, become pale, go pale, grow pale, turn pale, pale, become pallid, go pallid, grow pallid, turn pallid, blanch, lose its colour, be washed out, lighten, fade, blench
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Deprive of vitality or substance.
      ‘his contributions to the album are bleached of personality’
      • ‘A large colour photograph from his shack dweller series has been bleached of its content, the sitter a vague outline, a ghostly presence leached from the scene.’
      • ‘That is what makes it so clear that the conditional sentence I cited is in fact bleached of its conditionality.’
      • ‘I am now standing outside Iona Abbey (although the island is much smaller and flatter than I remember, seemingly bleached of some of its character and wild aspects).’
      • ‘Nikki is a kind of deflated Aussie version of a femme fatale, a strung-out blonde bimbo whose entire personality seems bleached of energy and thought.’
      • ‘In their universe all is bland, bloodless, bleached of character.’
      • ‘Those answers mean a lot, Mosley says, because it's troubling when biracial people seem to bleach away their blackness with European pride.’
      • ‘If we try and expunge all the bits that don't fit with a controlled or rational model of the mind, we end up with something that's bleached of interest.’
      • ‘Now that the party's deputy leader has announced she will not stand in next year's Assembly elections, the party is to be stripped of its only eminent woman and bleached of its last shade of green.’
  • 2Clean or sterilize (a drain, sink, etc.) with bleach.

    • ‘Then wash the bleached area with warm water and let it dry.’
    • ‘My mother bleached that damned doll five times, washed it solidly for two days before she would hand it over.’
    • ‘Pat washes off the dissection tray in the lab sink and puts it back on the table; bleaches the table as well because the teacher told him to.’
    • ‘If your grout (the material put between tiles to finish the surface and seal against leakage) is discolored, you might want to try and bleach and scrub it clean.’
    • ‘It wasn't that bad but we do tend to leave boxes out there that won't fit in the bin and they needed to go, we finished the job off by bleaching and hosing everything down so it's all lovely and clean now.’
    • ‘Between the two of us, we scrubbed and wiped and bleached that entire apartment clean over that night and the better part of the next day.’
    • ‘Of those that use a dishcloth or sponge, a third disinfect, boil or bleach it to keep it clean - the most effective methods.’
    • ‘This can be made clean by bleaching it, boiling it and filtering it.’
    • ‘Baths foreman Frank Hardcastle had a four-day job of cleaning the tiles and bleaching the pool floor.’
    • ‘I'm very careful about what I eat and drink; I bleach everything in the condo, I wash my clothes carefully.’
    • ‘Hong Kong newspapers show city workers hosing down walkways, disinfecting escalator railings and bleaching public washrooms.’
    • ‘Hoovered, washed up and bleached the bathroom, then headed out to work.’

noun

  • [mass noun] A chemical (typically a solution of sodium hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide) used to make materials whiter or for sterilizing drains, sinks, etc.

    ‘how can I get all those stains out of my wash without bleach?’
    • ‘An EU ruling makes it illegal to supply hydrogen peroxide bleach at over 0.1 per cent concentration.’
    • ‘Also discovered was a clay-like substance shaped to look like plastic explosive, bleach and a note questioning airline security, according to a law enforcement source.’
    • ‘Be familiar with and observe safety guidelines when working with hazardous chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and bleach.’
    • ‘For successful inactivation of both organism and toxin, both bleach and sodium hydroxide must be applied for a total of 40 minutes.’
    • ‘Hong Kong's health chief has said the virus is highly infectious, but can be killed by a solution of common household bleach.’
    • ‘Be warned, though - many of the more extreme techniques incorporate the use of hydrogen peroxide bleach and are not endorsed under EU laws.’
    • ‘How can I get all those stains out of my wash without bleach?’
    • ‘Some people use cleaners like bleach, not knowing that it is useless in a barn.’
    • ‘The thread can withstand machine washing without bleach, but should not be ironed directly.’
    • ‘She poured two litres of concentrated bleach down the loo and down the sink and down the plug hole in the bath, but the smell just got worst.’
    • ‘Mildew can be eliminated by simply adding a small amount of household bleach to the cleaning solution.’
    • ‘If you notice any mildew, it should be washed off with a solution of 1 part bleach and 3 parts water and rinsed thoroughly.’
    • ‘Disinfect bathrooms and basement walls with a disinfectant solution such as diluted bleach.’
    • ‘This technique means that wherever they make chlorine, they make sodium hydroxide, too, and generally they go on to make sodium hypochlorite bleach for you, too.’
    • ‘I would like to acknowledge the antimicrobial foams and dilute bleach solutions that are helping to disinfect the rest of the building.’
    • ‘Use a stiff brash to scrub feeders thoroughly with a 10 percent bleach solution (one part bleach to nine parts warm water), then rinse them well and wipe them dry.’
    • ‘Liquid bleach used in the laundry is an alkaline solution of hypochlorite ion.’
    • ‘If your seedlings succumbed to any diseases last year, make sure the containers are rinsed with a 10% solution of bleach to kill off any remaining spores.’
    • ‘This fabric may yellow so it should be bleached frequently with sodium perborate bleach.’
    • ‘You can also use bleach or a diluted solution that contains bleach, but you may want to use soap and water afterwards so that the strong smell doesn't irritate your child's nose.’

Origin

Old English blǣcan (verb), blǣce (noun), from blǣc ‘pale’, of Germanic origin; related to bleak.

Pronunciation:

bleach

/bliːtʃ/