v. bleached, bleach·ing, bleach·es
a. To remove the color from, as by means of chemical agents or sunlight: Over time, the exposure to sunlight bleached the rug in front of the window.
b. To make white or colorless: Dawn bleached the mountains.
2. To whiten by causing the death or expulsion of algal symbionts from (coral).
1. To act as or use a bleach.
2. 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.
1. A chemical agent used for bleaching.
a. The act of bleaching.
b. The degree of bleaching obtained.
[Middle English blechen, from Old English blǣcan; see bhel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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