Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To remove the color from, as by means of chemical agents or sunlight.
  • intransitive verb To make white or colorless.
  • intransitive verb To whiten by causing the death or expulsion of algal symbionts from (coral).
  • intransitive verb To act as or use a bleach.
  • intransitive verb 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.
  • noun A chemical agent used for bleaching.
  • noun The act of bleaching.
  • noun The degree of bleaching obtained.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pale.
  • Bleak.
  • To make white or whiter by removing color; whiten; blanch; make pale; specifically, to whiten (as linen, etc.) by washing and exposure to the action of the air and sunlight, or by chemical preparations. See bleaching.
  • Synonyms Blanch, etc. See whiten.
  • To become white in any manner; become pale or colorless.
  • To become morally pure.
  • noun Blacking; any substance used for blacking.
  • noun An abbreviation of ‘bleaching-powder,’ or chlorid of lime.
  • noun A disease of the skin. Holland, tr. of Pliny.
  • noun An act of bleaching; exposure to the sun or other bleaching agency or influence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To grow white or lose color; to whiten.
  • transitive verb To make white, or whiter; to remove the color, or stains, from; to blanch; to whiten.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To treat with bleach, especially so as to whiten (fabric, paper, etc) or lighten (hair).
  • verb intransitive, biology to lose color due to stress-induced expulsion of symbiotic unicellular algae.
  • noun uncountable A chemical, such as sodium hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide, or a preparation of such a chemical, used for disinfecting or whitening.
  • noun countable A variety of bleach.
  • noun An act of bleaching; exposure to the sun.
  • adjective archaic Pale; bleak.
  • noun A disease of the skin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the act of whitening something by bleaching it (exposing it to sunlight or using a chemical bleaching agent)
  • noun an agent that makes things white or colorless
  • verb make whiter or lighter
  • noun the whiteness that results from removing the color from something
  • verb remove color from

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English blechen, from Old English blǣcan; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English blechen, from Old English blǣċan ("to bleach, whiten"), from Proto-Germanic *blaikijanan, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (“to shine”). Cognate with Dutch bleken ("to bleach"), German bleichen ("to bleach"), Swedish bleka ("to bleach"). Related to Old English blāc ("pale").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bleche, from Old English blǣċu, blǣċo ("paleness, pallor"), from Proto-Germanic *blaikīn (“paleness”).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bleche, from Old English blǣċe ("irritation of the skin, leprosy; psoriasis").

Examples

Comments

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  • A blow. Buchan (Scots) dialect.

    May 26, 2011