brainwash

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

A calque of the Chinese 洗脑 (xǐ nǎo), literally "to wash the brain". Usage via U.S. military during Korean War.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

brainwash (uncountable)

  1. An effect upon one's memory, belief, or ideas.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

brainwash (third-person singular simple present brainwashes, present participle brainwashing, simple past and past participle brainwashed)

  1. To affect one's mind by using extreme mental pressure or any other mind-affecting process. (i.e. hypnosis)
  2. (figuratively, dated) To take from an electronically controlled machine its stored-up information; to erase a computer's programming. (1960)

Translations[edit]