from The Century Dictionary.

  • Adapted to cleanse and purify; designed for or devoted to purifying.
  • noun The act of making clean; cleaning; purification.
  • noun That which is removed in cleaning; dirt or refuse removed; specifically, the placenta or afterbirth: usually applied to animals.

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

  • adjective One that cleanses.
  • noun The process of removing dirt, toxins etc.
  • verb Present participle of cleanse.

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

  • noun the act of making something clean
  • adjective acting like an antiseptic
  • adjective cleansing the body by washing; especially ritual washing of e.g. hands


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • There's cleansing; yes, blessed fact! there's _cleansing_ from this horrid impurity whose stain you are so conscious of.

    Quiet Talks on Following the Christ 1897

  • But almost immediately, some local priests announced that tomorrow they're going to be holding what they call a cleansing ceremony to take out any bad spirits, they say, that may have come in during the Bush visit.

    CNN Transcript Mar 12, 2007 2007

  • On Wednesday, video posted on a social media website by the Syrian army shows military troops celebrating what they call the 'cleansing' of Latakia.

    Reuters: Press Release 2011

  • "To refer to 'cleansing' is deeply offensive to people who have witnessed cleansing in other parts of the world," he fumed.

    Nick 'O'Teen' Clegg turns nasty Simon Hoggart 2010

  • This theory became one of the major tenets of his preaching, and was especially efficacious in cleansing the consciences of the back-sliders from all other faiths who else, in the secrecy of their subconscious selves, were being crushed by the weight of the


  • This means that ritual cleansing is required before one is able to perform prayers.

    Dogs: Iran's new symbol of rebellion Masoud Golsorkhi 2010

  • After all, ethnic cleansing is now totally OK with the US.

    Carter asks Jewish community for forgiveness 2009

  • The notion that we had even a backhanded role in ethnic cleansing is not something to be proud of.

    Matthew Yglesias » Over There 2009

  • Wright also said that "ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza, and ethnic cleansing by the Zionist is a sin and a crime against humanity."

    Race, religion and domestic terrorism 2009

  • And the anonymous, faceless robots of this block are bent on one objective above all: the cleansing from the German-speaking lands of “the low, materialistic Jews.”

    The 2,000-Year-Old Panic 2008


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