Definition of cleanse in English:



  • 1 Make (something, especially the skin) thoroughly clean:

    ‘this preparation will cleanse and tighten the skin’
    ‘a cleansing cream’
    • ‘The circulating nurse applies the electro-surgery grounding pad and then cleanses the patient's skin with the surgeon's preferred prep solution.’
    • ‘Once a week, she would have a professional come to cleanse her skin, and she continued to have blonde highlights put in her hair.’
    • ‘Alternatively, as you have been constipated for some time, I would suggest gently cleansing your colon.’
    • ‘The skin is cleansed, and a needle is inserted without the physician's finger touching the marked site, unless a sterile glove is worn.’
    • ‘Hot baths help cleanse the skin of released toxins and allow the pores to eliminate more toxins.’
    • ‘In general, wounds are cleansed initially and before a new dressing is applied.’
    • ‘Our hero passes out while getting his bowels cleansed before the operation.’
    • ‘Assure him that you have cleansed your soul and seen the error of your ways.’
    • ‘The wound is gently cleansed and irrigated with sterile saline.’
    • ‘He finished cleansing the skin and took out a pad and pen.’
    • ‘The umbilicus is cleansed thoroughly with cotton swabs as the final step of the prep.’
    • ‘Between two applications of collagen mask, apply the contents of one vial to thoroughly cleansed skin.’
    • ‘Start at the exit site and circle outward to cleanse the skin.’
    • ‘First, sparkling wines are naturally crisp, and that acidity cleanses the palate.’
    • ‘One water recipe might enhance immunity, another might cleanse the skin, another might help with prostate imbalance.’
    • ‘If someone is bitten by a kiwi they should thoroughly cleanse the wound using alcohol and seek immediate medical advice.’
    • ‘The wound should be thoroughly cleansed, and delayed closure should be allowed.’
    • ‘After the circulating nurse cleanses the patient's skin with a povidone-iodine solution, the scrub person and surgeon place sterile drapes, isolating the abdomen.’
    • ‘As it is drawn through the ducts of the circulation system the air is cleansed of impurities.’
    • ‘Have a glass of water or crackers near by in order to cleanse your palate.’
    clean, make clean, clean up, wash, bathe, rinse, disinfect, sanitize, decontaminate, purify
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    1. 1.1 Rid of something unpleasant or defiling:
      ‘the mission to cleanse America of subversives’
      • ‘He promised that God would cleanse his people of all impurities so that they could draw near to him again.’
      • ‘Every morning is like pouring water over myself until my soul is cleansed of sin.’
      rid, clear, free, purify, purge, empty, strip, void, relieve
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    2. 1.2 Free (someone) from sin or guilt:
      ‘only God Himself can cleanse us’
      • ‘He promised to open a fountain in the house of David to cleanse the people.’
      • ‘There were large palm fronds strung around the village to protect it from evil and to cleanse any evil person who entered the village.’
      • ‘A little deliberation shows that this is the very essence of repentance and it is known that repentance cleanses a person.’
      • ‘We continued to walk toward the forest, as if immersion in the wild lands where she should have roamed free could cleanse us of leaving her in such conditions.’
      • ‘The same Spirit that empowers us also cleanses us with a purifying fire.’
      purify, purge, absolve, free
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    3. 1.3archaic (in biblical translations) cure (a leper).
      • ‘Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.’
      • ‘The blind could see, the lame could walk, lepers were cleansed, the deaf could hear, the dead had been raised, and the poor had good news.’
      • ‘Because he healed their lame and cleansed their lepers and brought light to their blind and raised their dead, that is why he died.’
      • ‘Jesus healed Simon's mother and cleansed a leper in Galilee.’
      • ‘Jesus healed sickness and disease, fed 5,000, restored sight, cleansed lepers and raised the dead.’


  • A process or period of time during which a person attempts to rid the body of substances regarded as toxic or unhealthy, typically by consuming only water or other liquids:

    ‘you can consume the broth three times a day for a cleanse’
    ‘I recommend doing a cleanse when your social calendar is event-free, because you might feel a bit more tired than usual’


Old English clǣnsian (verb), from clǣne (see clean).