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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Another clean sheet and maybe the odds will start tumbling.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If times stay bad, we think a relatively clean balance sheet could free up cash for better pursuits by management.’
    1. 1.1keep a clean sheet (in a football match) prevent the opposing side from scoring.
      ‘Scotland kept a clean sheet against the Welsh’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘During the 1993-94 campaign he equalled the club record of 20 clean sheets.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Not for the first time this season, Rhydding were indebted to their back four for yet another clean sheet.’
      • ‘Of the game itself, the manager was delighted with another clean sheet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We have kept four clean sheets in our last five games and need to carry that on.’
      • ‘Hounslow were boosted by the return of Alistair Slay and James Kingston and kept their first clean sheet of the season.’