bleach

To bleach is to whiten, or to strip of color. After many summers of use, the sun will bleach your favorite beach towel.

You might bleach your white laundry, or bleach your dark brown hair until it's pale blonde. In both cases, you use bleach, a strong chemical solution that can often be found in laundry rooms and hair salons. The Old English root word is blæcan, "bleach" or "whiten," from a Germanic source it curiously shares with the word black.

Definitions of bleach
  1. verb
    make whiter or lighter
    bleach the laundry”
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    types:
    peroxide
    bleach with peroxide
    type of:
    white, whiten
    turn white
  2. verb
    remove color from
    “The sun bleached the red shirt”
    synonyms: bleach out, decolor, decolorise, decolorize, decolour, decolourise, decolourize, discolorise, discolorize, discolourise
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    type of:
    discolor, discolour
    cause to lose or change color
  3. noun
    the act of whitening something by bleaching it (exposing it to sunlight or using a chemical bleaching agent)
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    types:
    etiolation
    (botany) the act of causing a plant to develop without chlorophyll by growing it without exposure to sunlight
    type of:
    lightening, whitening
    changing to a lighter color
  4. noun
    the whiteness that results from removing the color from something
    “a complete bleach usually requires several applications”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    white, whiteness
    the quality or state of the achromatic color of greatest lightness (bearing the least resemblance to black)
  5. noun
    an agent that makes things white or colorless
    synonyms: blanching agent, bleaching agent, whitener
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    types:
    show 8 types...
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    benzoyl peroxide
    a white crystalline peroxide used in bleaching (flour or oils or fats) and as a catalyst for free radical reactions
    bleaching powder, chloride of lime, chlorinated lime
    a white powder comprised of calcium hydroxide and chloride and hypochlorite and used to bleach and/or disinfect
    calcium hypochlorite
    any hypochlorite of calcium; used as a bleaching agent
    chlorine dioxide
    an explosive gas (ClO2) used chiefly in bleaching paper or starch or soap or flour and in water purification
    chlorine water
    an aqueous solution of chlorine used as a bleaching agent
    Clorox
    a commercial bleaching agent
    sodium hypochlorite
    an unstable salt (NaOCl) used as a bleaching agent and disinfectant
    Javel water, Javelle water, eau de Javelle
    an aqueous solution of sodium hypochlorite
    type of:
    agent
    a substance that exerts some force or effect
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