Definition of blanch in English:



  • 1with object Make white or pale by extracting color; bleach.

    ‘the cold light blanched her face’
    • ‘The glare of the flash blanches some faces, while others are obscured by the frame's edges.’
    • ‘It blanches the complexion to think that this sort of thing could be going on in ‘civilized’ society in modern times.’
    • ‘Her tan skin was blanched and she quivered slightly.’
    • ‘The wind blew, chilling their coffee and blanching their faces.’
    • ‘The grey of the last forty eight hours had blanched it silver.’
    make pale, turn pale, whiten, make pallid, turn pallid, lighten, grey, wash out, fade, blench, etiolate, decolorize, bleach, peroxide
    pale, become pale, go pale, grow pale, turn pale, become white, go white, grow white, turn white, whiten, become pallid, go pallid, grow pallid, turn pallid, lose its colour, lighten, bleach, fade, blench
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    1. 1.1with object Whiten (a plant) by depriving it of light.
      ‘blanch endive by covering plants with large flowerpots’
      • ‘Inner leaves can be blanched - simply tie the head loosely with string once the heart begins to form.’
      • ‘The traditional way to blanch asparagus is to mound mulch or sand around the spears as they emerge.’
      • ‘Some growers will blanch shanks by gradually mounding soil around the base of the plants as they grow, similar to what is done with leeks.’
      • ‘Plant according to directions, and when the bulb that forms at the base of the leaf begins to swell, pull earth around it to blanch the stalks.’
      • ‘This encourages the growth of the stems, blanches them from green to white, and improves the flavour.’
      • ‘Planting leeks deep in the soil blanches them, shielding the shanks from the sun and keeping them white, tender, and sweet.’
      • ‘According to him, ‘In Europe the farmers throw dirt around the asparagus in order to blanch it.’’
      • ‘Broad-leafed endive, which is often blanched by putting a box over the plant, is called ‘escarole’ in the USA.’
      • ‘When seedlings are 10 to 12 inches tall, hill up the soil around the plant bases to blanch the stems.’
      • ‘If you like a lot of white on your leeks, you can simply mound the soil up a little higher on the stalk to blanch more of it.’
  • 2no object (of a person) grow pale from shock, fear, or a similar emotion.

    ‘many people blanch at the suggestion’
    ‘their faces blanched with fear’
    • ‘My head sank between my knees, and I could feel my face blanching.’
    • ‘She blanched with fear, as though her worst fears stood incarnate before her.’
    • ‘When I compared the two artists' work, a smart young friend of mine who is far more into the genre than I blanched a little.’
    • ‘He blanched a little, and looked pointedly away, sitting a bit straighter.’
    • ‘The five remaining men blanched and trembled with fear as they were faced with something beyond their reckoning.’
    • ‘Many journalists would have blanched at the idea.’
    • ‘About halfway through the motion, though, he gasped and blanched a little with pain.’
    • ‘Her pale face blanched even more at his suggestion and she backed up until her back was flush to the wall.’
    • ‘He blanched a little when he saw the 30 ft long Diplodocus and the life size Tyrannosaurus jawbones.’
    • ‘I saw Mike's parents look at me oddly; his mother seemed to be blanching with fear of what I was going to say.’
    • ‘We only had $5000 in the bank at the time, so when we told our architect he blanched a little, but then admitted he had started much the same way himself.’
    • ‘She blanched a little, ‘Not really, I was just told that she thought men were such weaklings.’’
    • ‘She blanched, turning first white, then a brilliant red.’
    • ‘She blanched, all colour draining from her face.’
    • ‘Some of the proposals range from 20 to 30 percent and people blanch at the thought of paying that much.’
    • ‘He had blanched whiter than a hungry vampire and his steel gray eyes had gone momentarily wild.’
    • ‘He blanched a moment, stumbling back to his chair, then sat, a faint smile on his face.’
    • ‘Her face had blanched when her sister had taunted her that the two of them should marry.’
    • ‘When I blanched at the price, he noted that steel, at the moment, was quite expensive.’
    • ‘I looked down towards the first row of seats and blanched at the blood stains on the artificial leather.’
    wince, start, shy, shy away, recoil, shrink, pull back, back away, draw back, withdraw, blench, cringe, squirm, quiver, shudder, shiver, tremble, quake, shake, quail, cower, waver, falter, hesitate, get cold feet
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  • 3with object Prepare (vegetables) for freezing or further cooking by immersing briefly in boiling water.

    • ‘You cut them into squares and blanch them in boiling water for a minute or so with onion and garlic.’
    • ‘The leaf stalks are blanched in boiling water and peeled before use.’
    • ‘Prepare the tomatoes for the sauce by blanching them in boiling water for 20 seconds.’
    • ‘The last couple of hours were hectic, as they always are, assembling the cold dishes, marinating the fish and blanching the Chinese broccoli.’
    • ‘Simply cut the florets off the stems of the plant and blanch them for a couple of minutes in boiling water.’
    • ‘The colouring is important and he suggests that the mushrooms are first briefly blanched in boiling water, so they are moist without the need for prolonged cooking.’
    • ‘Add the rice and blanch the grains for 5 minutes, then drain and spread out on a tray.’
    • ‘Boil some water, blanch the garlic for about 15 seconds and then shock the garlic in an ice water bath.’
    • ‘Kale can be steamed, blanched, boiled, braised, stir-fried, or sauteed.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, blanch the button onions for a few seconds in boiling water, then drain and cool.’
    • ‘Lightly blanch the cabbage and add to a pan with the goose fat.’
    • ‘Wash the vegetables, trim away any soft or brown spots, cut them into large pieces, and blanch them in boiling water for a minute or two.’
    • ‘After blanching them for a few seconds in boiling water they become digestible without losing their crispness.’
    • ‘To prepare, simply cut an X in the base of the sprouts, and blanch them in boiling water for about five minutes.’
    • ‘In a separate pot of salted, boiling water, blanch the fava beans, then immediately drain and shock them in an ice bath.’
    • ‘Place the garlic in a small pan of cold water and bring to the boil to blanch it.’
    • ‘To caramelise the garlic, first blanch the garlic in a pan of salted boiling water for about 3 minutes, then peel and transfer to a clean pan.’
    • ‘In a saucepan filled with boiling water, blanch the parsley for 10 minutes.’
    • ‘In a large saucepan filled with boiling water, blanch the lotus root until tender.’
    • ‘While the fish is cooking, blanch the bokchoy in boiling water just long enough to retain crispness.’
    1. 3.1 Peel (almonds) by scalding them.
      ‘blanched almonds’
      • ‘A small handful of soaked and blanched almonds or walnuts makes a nutritious mid-morning or afternoon snack.’
      • ‘To blanch the almonds, cover them with boiling water for a few minutes, refresh them under cold water, drain them and rub the skins off with your finger tips.’
      • ‘Because I didn't blanch the almonds or pistachios, the cake itself looked a bit dull and not as green as you might fancy.’
      • ‘Before blanching almonds, taste them with the skins on.’
      • ‘Before baking, the top is covered with whole blanched almonds.’
      scald, boil, dunk
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Middle English: from Old French blanchir, from blanc ‘white’, ultimately of Germanic origin.