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See also: Bleichen



From a merger of Middle High German bleichen, from Old High German bleihhen, from Proto-Germanic *blaikijaną, and Middle High German blīchen, from Old High German blīhhan, from Proto-Germanic *blīkaną. Related to bleich. Cognate wiht Dutch bleken and blijken, English bleach and blike, Danish blege.



bleichen (class 1 strong, third-person singular simple present bleicht, past tense bleichte or blich, past participle gebleicht or geblichen, auxiliary haben or sein)

  1. (transitive, auxiliary haben) to bleach
  2. (intransitive, rather rare, auxiliary sein) to fade, to lose colour

Usage notes[edit]

  • When transitive (meaning “to bleach”), bleichen is originally and predominantly weak (bleichte, gebleicht). Strong forms (blich, geblichen) are very rare in the simplex, but they are commonly seen in transitive compounds like ausbleichen: Die Sonne hat die Wand ausgeblichen / ausgebleicht. (“The sun has bleached out the [colour of] the wall.”)
  • When intransitive (meaning “to fade”), bleichen is almost exclusively strong. Intransitive use, however, is per se rare in the simplex and occurs chiefly in compounds like erbleichen, verbleichen, etc.
  • As a fallible rule of thumb, therefore, one can say that the simplex bleichen will be weak while compounds will be strong.


Weak conjugation
Strong conjugation

Related terms[edit]