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blanch (verb) to become pale because of fear or shock; to whiten as by bleaching; bleaching vegetables and plants.
When on hearing some shocking news or seeing a shocking sight, a person turns pale, they blanch. When fear turns someone pale, it blanches them. When something is bleached to make it white, it is blanched. When you keep plants away from sunlight, you blanch them as they lose their green color. Certain chemicals can turn human hair white. That is, they can blanch human hair. To put vegetables in boiling water for some time is to blanch them.
- On their way to the South Pole, the explorers' faces turned dead pale, as they blanched at the sight of a polar bear, rearing on its hind legs and staring right into their faces, just a few yards in front of them.
- As she listened into the phone, the news she heard must have been shocking enough to blanch her as she turned pale and became almost speechless.