tr.v. cleansed, cleans·ing, cleans·es
a. To free from dirt, contamination, or impurities: cleansed the wound.
b. To treat (the body or an organ) with a regimen intended to remove impurities and promote health: drank vegetable juice for a week to cleanse her digestive system.
2. To purify morally or spiritually: cleanse the organization of corruption; cleansed of sin.
3. To subject to ethnic cleansing.
An act of cleansing: a cleanse of the digestive system.
cleanse the/one's palate
To clear the mouth of strong flavors: served sherbet between courses to cleanse the palate.
[Middle English clensen, from Old English clǣnsian, from clǣne, pure, clean.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.