• To treat with bleach, especially so as to whiten (fabric, paper, etc.) or lighten (hair).
  • To be whitened or lightened (by the sun, for example).
  • To lose color due to stress-induced expulsion of symbiotic unicellular algae.
  • To make meaningless; to divest of meaning; to make empty.



Similar words


  • From Middle English bleche (also bleke), from Old English blǣċ, blǣc, variants of blāc, from Proto-Germanic *blaikaz. More at bleak.
  • From Middle English blechen, from Old English blǣċan, from Proto-Germanic *blaikijaną, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel-. Cognate with Dutch bleken ("to bleach"), German bleichen ("to bleach"), Danish blege, Swedish bleka ("to bleach"). Related to Old English blāc ("pale") (English blake; compare also bleak).
  • From Middle English bleche, from Old English blǣċu, blǣċo, from Proto-Germanic *blaikį̄.
  • From Middle English bleche, from Old English blǣċe.

Modern English dictionary

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