From Middle English rinsen, rensen, rencen (to rinse), from Old French rincier, reinser, Old Northern French raïncer (to rinse, cleanse). Of contested origin. Possibly from Old Norse hreinsa, from Proto-Germanic *hrainisōną (to clean, purify), from Proto-Indo-European *krey- (to separate, divide). Alternatively from a dissimilation of Old French recincier, from Latin recentare (to make fresh).

Cognate with French rincer. From the Germanic verb are Danish rense, Norwegian rense, Swedish rensa (all “to clean”), Old High German reinisōn (to clean, purify, atone). It is related with German rein (pure), Gothic 𐌷𐍂𐌰𐌹𐌽𐍃 (hrains, clean), and English riddle. The Latin verb is related to recent.


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪns/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪns
  • (dated, regional US) IPA(key): /ɹɛns/[1]


rinse (third-person singular simple present rinses, present participle rinsing, simple past and past participle rinsed)

  1. (transitive) To wash (something) quickly using water and no soap.
    You'd better rinse that stain before putting the shirt in the washing machine.
  2. (transitive) To remove soap from (something) using water.
    Rinse the dishes after you wash them.
  3. (UK, slang) To thoroughly defeat in an argument, fight or other competition.
    You got rinsed.

Derived termsEdit



rinse (plural rinses)

  1. The action of rinsing.
    I'll just give this knife a quick rinse.
  2. A liquid used to rinse, now particularly a hair dye.
    I had a henna rinse yesterday.




  1. ^ Hans Kurath and Raven Ioor McDavid (1961). The pronunciation of English in the Atlantic States: based upon the collections of the linguistic atlas of the Eastern United States. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 130–131.