Definition of a clean sheet (or slate) in English:

a clean sheet (or slate)


  • 1An absence of existing restraints or commitments.

    ‘no government starts with a clean sheet’
    • ‘On the other end of the spectrum, the captain of the Tampa has a completely clean slate.’
    • ‘So we're starting here with a completely clean slate.’
    • ‘How would you, if you could start with a clean piece of paper, structure this thing?’
    • ‘In the circumstances it is not as though the respondents come here with a slate which is exactly clean.’
    • ‘If times stay bad, we think a relatively clean balance sheet could free up cash for better pursuits by management.’
    • ‘Another clean sheet and maybe the odds will start tumbling.’
    • ‘It is by no means apparent to me how the slate is wiped as clean as the Full Court would seem to suggest it was by the repeal effected by the Repeal Act.’
    1. 1.1keep a clean sheet (in a football match) prevent the opposing side from scoring.
      ‘Scotland kept a clean sheet against the Welsh’
      • ‘Not for the first time this season, Rhydding were indebted to their back four for yet another clean sheet.’
      • ‘Leeds' other cause for celebration is the fact that this was their seventh clean sheet this season.’
      • ‘It was also the first home clean sheet since Barnsley on October 2.’
      • ‘Hounslow were boosted by the return of Alistair Slay and James Kingston and kept their first clean sheet of the season.’
      • ‘We have kept four clean sheets in our last five games and need to carry that on.’
      • ‘Two clean sheets and back-to-back wins for the first time this season are a fair reflection of the difference Short has made to this Rovers side.’
      • ‘During the 1993-94 campaign he equalled the club record of 20 clean sheets.’
      • ‘I know as a defender I'm bound to keep banging on about the importance of clean sheets and staying tight at the back - but that's because it is.’
      • ‘Of the game itself, the manager was delighted with another clean sheet.’
      • ‘The man nicknamed ‘The Rock’ has been a revelation at the heart of a defence which has kept five clean sheets in the last seven games.’