blanch (blănch) also blench (blĕnch)
v. blanched, blanch·ing, blanch·es also blenched or blench·ing or blench·es
1. To take the color from; bleach.
2. To whiten (a growing plant or plant part) by covering to cut off direct light.
3. To whiten (a metal) by soaking in acid or by coating with tin.
a. To scald (almonds, for example) in order to loosen the skin.
b. To scald (food) briefly, as before freezing or as a preliminary stage in preparing a dish.
5. To cause to turn white or become pale.
To turn white or become pale: Their faces blanched in terror.
[Middle English blaunchen, to make white, from Old French blanchir, from blanche, feminine of blanc, white, of Germanic origin; see bhel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.