Definition of blanch in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /blan(t)SH/


1 [with object] Make white or pale by extracting color; bleach: the cold light blanched her face
More example sentences
  • The wind blew, chilling their coffee and blanching their faces.
  • The glare of the flash blanches some faces, while others are obscured by the frame's edges.
  • The grey of the last forty eight hours had blanched it silver.
turn pale, whiten, lighten, wash out, fade
pale, turn pale, turn white, whiten, lose its color, lighten, fade
1.1 [with object] Whiten (a plant) by depriving it of light: blanch endive by covering plants with large flowerpots
More example sentences
  • Planting leeks deep in the soil blanches them, shielding the shanks from the sun and keeping them white, tender, and sweet.
  • When seedlings are 10 to 12 inches tall, hill up the soil around the plant bases to blanch the stems.
  • The traditional way to blanch asparagus is to mound mulch or sand around the spears as they emerge.
2 [no object] (Of a person) grow pale from shock, fear, or a similar emotion: many people blanch at the suggestion their faces blanched with fear
More example sentences
  • The five remaining men blanched and trembled with fear as they were faced with something beyond their reckoning.
  • I saw Mike's parents look at me oddly; his mother seemed to be blanching with fear of what I was going to say.
  • Some of the proposals range from 20 to 30 percent and people blanch at the thought of paying that much.
3 [with object] Prepare (vegetables) for freezing or further cooking by immersing briefly in boiling water.
Example sentences
  • In a separate pot of salted, boiling water, blanch the fava beans, then immediately drain and shock them in an ice bath.
  • The colouring is important and he suggests that the mushrooms are first briefly blanched in boiling water, so they are moist without the need for prolonged cooking.
  • Prepare the tomatoes for the sauce by blanching them in boiling water for 20 seconds.
3.1Peel (almonds) by scalding them: (as adjective blanched) blanched almonds
More example sentences
  • A small handful of soaked and blanched almonds or walnuts makes a nutritious mid-morning or afternoon snack.
  • Before baking, the top is covered with whole blanched almonds.
  • Because I didn't blanch the almonds or pistachios, the cake itself looked a bit dull and not as green as you might fancy.
scald, boil briefly


Middle English: from Old French blanchir, from blanc 'white', ultimately of Germanic origin.

Words that rhyme with blanch

Blanche, branch, ranch, tranche

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: blanch

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words