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

v make whiter or lighter

bleach the laundry”
bleach with peroxide
Type of:
white, whiten
turn white

v remove color from

“The sun bleached the red shirt”
bleach out, decolor, decolorise, decolorize, decolour, decolourise, decolourize, discolorise, discolorize, discolourise
Type of:
discolor, discolour
cause to lose or change color

n the act of whitening something by bleaching it (exposing it to sunlight or using a chemical bleaching agent)

(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

n the whiteness that results from removing the color from something

“a complete bleach usually requires several applications”
Type of:
white, whiteness
the quality or state of the achromatic color of greatest lightness (bearing the least resemblance to black)

n an agent that makes things white or colorless

blanching agent, bleaching agent, whitener
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
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
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:
a substance that exerts some force or effect

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