What does bleach mean?

Definitions for bleach

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word bleach.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bleachnoun

    the whiteness that results from removing the color from something

    "a complete bleach usually requires several applications"

  2. bleaching agent, bleach, blanching agent, whitenernoun

    an agent that makes things white or colorless

  3. bleachverb

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

  4. bleach, bleach out, decolor, decolour, decolorize, decolourize, decolorise, decolourise, discolorize, discolourise, discoloriseverb

    remove color from

    "The sun bleached the red shirt"

  5. bleachverb

    make whiter or lighter

    "bleach the laundry"


  1. bleachnoun

    A chemical, such as sodium hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide, or a preparation of such a chemical, used for disinfecting or whitening.

  2. bleachnoun

    A variety of bleach.

  3. bleachverb

    To treat with bleach, especially so as to whiten (fabric, paper, etc) or lighten (hair).

  4. bleachverb

    (of corals) to lose color due to stress-induced expulsion of symbiotic unicellular algae.

    Once coral bleaching begins, corals tend to continue to bleach even if the stressor is removed.

  5. Etymology: blechen, from blǣcean, from blaikijanan, a derivation of blāc "pale", from blaikaz.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Bleachverb

    To whiten; commonly to whiten by exposure to the open air.

    Etymology: bleechen, Germ.

    When turtles tread, and rooks and daws;
    And maidens bleach their summer smocks. William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour Lost.

    Should I not seek
    The clemency of some more temp’rate clime,
    To purge my gloom; and, by the sun refin’d,
    Bask in his beams, and bleach me in the wind? Dryden.

    For there are various penances enjoin’d;
    And some are hung to bleach upon the wind;
    Some plung’d in waters. John Dryden, Æneid.

  2. To Bleachverb

    To grow white; to grow white in the open air.

    The white sheet bleaching in the open field. William Shakespeare, W. Tale.

    On every nerve
    The deadly winter seizes; shuts up sense;
    Lays him along the snows, a stiffen’d corse,
    Stretch’d out, and bleaching in the northern blast. James Thomson.


  1. Bleach

    Bleach is the generic name for any chemical product that is used industrially or domestically to remove color (whitening) from a fabric or fiber or to clean or to remove stains in a process called bleaching. It often refers specifically to a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite, also called "liquid bleach". Many bleaches have broad spectrum bactericidal properties, making them useful for disinfecting and sterilizing. They are used in swimming pool sanitation to control bacteria, viruses, and algae, and in many places where sterile conditions are required. They are also used in many industrial processes, notably in the bleaching of wood pulp. Bleaches also have other minor uses like removing mildew, killing weeds, and increasing the longevity of cut flowers.Bleaches work by reacting with many colored organic compounds, such as natural pigments, and turning them into colorless ones. While most bleaches are oxidizing agents (chemicals that can remove electrons from other molecules), some are reducing agents (that donate electrons). Chlorine, a powerful oxidizer, is the active agent in many household bleaches. Since pure chlorine is a toxic corrosive gas, these products usually contain hypochlorite, which releases chlorine. "Bleaching powder" usually means a formulation containing calcium hypochlorite. Oxidizing bleaching agents that do not contain chlorine are usually based on peroxides such as hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, and sodium perborate. These bleaches are called 'non-chlorine bleach,' 'oxygen bleach' or 'color-safe bleach.'Reducing bleaches have niche uses, such as sulfur dioxide used to bleach wool, either as gas or from solutions of sodium dithionite; and sodium borohydride. Bleaches generally react with many other organic substances besides the intended colored pigments, so they can weaken or damage natural materials like fibers, cloth, and leather, and intentionally applied dyes such as the indigo of denim. For the same reason, ingestion of the products, breathing of the fumes, or contact with skin or eyes can cause health damage.


  1. bleach

    Bleach is a commonly used household chemical compound that has strong oxidizing properties, often used for cleaning, disinfection, removing stains, and whitening clothes. It typically refers to chlorine bleach, but can also refer to other substances such as hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate. Beyond its use in cleaning, bleach is also used in a variety of industrial applications.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Bleachadjective

    to make white, or whiter; to remove the color, or stains, from; to blanch; to whiten

  2. Bleachverb

    to grow white or lose color; to whiten


  1. Bleach

    Bleach refers to a number of chemicals which remove color, whiten or disinfect, often via oxidation. The bleaching process has been known for thousands of years, but the chemicals currently used for bleaching resulted from the work of several 18th century scientists. Chlorine is the basis for the most commonly used bleaches, for example, the solution of sodium hypochlorite, which is so ubiquitous that many people just call it "bleach", and calcium hypochlorite, the major compound in "bleaching powder". Oxidizing bleaching agents that do not contain chlorine most often are based on peroxides, such as hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate and sodium perborate. While most bleaches are oxidizing agents, a fewer number are reducing agents such as sodium dithionite and sodium borohydride. Bleaches are used as household chemicals to whiten clothes and remove stains and as disinfectants, primarily in the bathroom and kitchen. Many bleaches have strong bactericidal properties, and are used for disinfecting and sterilizing and thus are used in swimming pool sanitation to control bacteria, viruses and algae and in any institution where sterile conditions are needed. They are also used in many industrial processes, notably in the bleaching of wood pulp. Bleach is also used for removing mildew, killing weeds and increasing the longevity of flowers.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Bleach

    blēch, v.t. to make pale or white: to whiten, as textile fabrics.—v.i. to grow white.—ns. Bleach′er, one who bleaches, or that which bleaches; Bleach′ery, a place for bleaching; Bleach′-field, a place for bleaching cloth: a bleacher's office or works; Bleach′ing, the process of whitening or decolourising cloth; Bleach′ing-green, a green for bleaching clothes on; Bleach′ing-pow′der, chloride of lime. [A.S. blǽcan, from root of Bleak.]

Suggested Resources

  1. bleach

    Song lyrics by bleach -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by bleach on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Bleach is ranked #103181 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Bleach surname appeared 174 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Bleach.

    64.3% or 112 total occurrences were White.
    27% or 47 total occurrences were Black.
    3.4% or 6 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce bleach?

How to say bleach in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of bleach in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of bleach in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of bleach in a Sentence

  1. Penny Ward:

    Neither sitting in the sun, nor heating will kill a virus replicating in an individual patient's internal organs, drinking bleach kills. Injecting bleach kills faster. Don't do either!

  2. George W. Cecil:

    On the Plains of Hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions, who, at the Dawn of Victory, sat down to wait, and waiting--died

  3. Emma Watson:

    It’s funny — I was just talking to my friend before this about how in the Instagram era it’s so easy to edit your life so that it looks perfect, but I bleach my top lip and tweeze my eyebrows and you ’d never get to see that, even though it’s a part of my routine. There’s still so much shame around the things you do to get ready while you’ve got a towel wrapped around your head. It’s important to me not to edit that out.

  4. Vincent Hill:

    Nineteen percent wash food products with bleach, which could lead to their consumption of bleach that isn't washed off, which can damage the body because bleach is toxic. Eighteen percent used household cleaner on bare skin, which can damage the skin and cause rashes and burns.

  5. Alain Kapete:

    We now prepare the disinfectant in front of them so they can see we are adding bleach.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for bleach

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مادة تبييض, بيضArabic
  • обезцветявам, избелвам, белинаBulgarian
  • bělit, bělidloCzech
  • blege, blegemiddelDanish
  • bleichen, BleicheGerman
  • λευκαντικό, λευκαίνωGreek
  • curar, blanquear, blanqueador, decolorar, lejía, lavandinaSpanish
  • valkaista, valkaisuaineFinnish
  • bleikjaFaroese
  • blanchir, javel, eau de JavelFrench
  • מלבין, הלבין, אקונומיקהHebrew
  • fehérítő, kifehérítHungarian
  • decolorante, candeggiare, decolorare, candeggina, varechina, imbiancareItalian
  • 漂白する, 漂白剤Japanese
  • 바래다Korean
  • inficiatqueLatin
  • bliċMaltese
  • bleke, bleike, bleikemiddel, blekemiddelNorwegian
  • bleek, bleekwater, Javel, blekenDutch
  • bleikemiddel, bleike, bleikjemiddel, bleikjeNorwegian Nynorsk
  • wybielić, bielić, wybielaczPolish
  • descorante, alvejantePortuguese
  • белильный раствор, белить, отбеливатель, белильная известьRussian
  • izbjeljivačSerbo-Croatian
  • vybieliť, bieliť, odfarbiť, bielidloSlovak
  • bleka, blekmedelSwedish
  • çamaşır suyuTurkish
  • 漂白Chinese

Get even more translations for bleach »


Find a translation for the bleach definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"bleach." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/bleach>.

Discuss these bleach definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for bleach? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    standing above others in quality or position
    • A. appellative
    • B. contiguous
    • C. extroversive
    • D. eminent

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for bleach: