Definition of cleaner in English:



  • 1A person employed to clean the interior of a building.

    ‘she's one of the office cleaners’
    • ‘The hospitals were said to be notably clean and had a high standard of decor with cleaners employed directly by the trust, which treated them as valuable members of staff.’
    • ‘In fact, one boy employed as an office cleaner did not even know how to open a door.’
    • ‘It says cleaning standards have slipped in hospitals because of a major decline in the number of cleaners employed in the last eight years.’
    • ‘Companies use agencies to employ cleaners for their buildings.’
    • ‘He handled it really well for a man who doesn't have children, is not used to having to think about money and employs a cleaner.’
    • ‘She has consistently criticised the health authority for using contract cleaning companies to clean the hospital rather than employing its own cleaners directly.’
    • ‘The 150 cleaners, housekeepers, office and restaurant staff have been fighting for a better deal for weeks.’
    • ‘On top of that we saw cleaners employed by the hospital who each had a responsibility to maintain their own individual wards.’
    • ‘Directors of the company earn 50 times more than the cleaners who work for them.’
    • ‘To drain the water out, the residents employed cleaners on Sunday to remove garbage and wild growth from the canal, which have been deposited on the roadside.’
    • ‘Many years later we have just employed our latest cleaner.’
    • ‘I was pointed up to the first floor of the building where some cleaners were mopping up.’
    • ‘Every morning in Times Square at around 11.30 am GMT, an incredibly bored looking cleaner sweeps the streets.’
    • ‘I should never have listened to you about hiring a house cleaner.’
    • ‘Free public toilets lack the funds to employ a full-time cleaner and because they are free, they are busier.’
    • ‘Yet they pay their cleaners just £5.25 an hour with no sick pay or pension.’
    • ‘And meanwhile they're employing kitchen staff and cleaners from where?’
    • ‘You said hiring a house cleaner would solve our cleaning problems because we both have full-time jobs.’
    • ‘He said they employed three part-time cleaners and the visitors also spent money in the local economy.’
    • ‘Hospitals must employ enough cleaners and give them the right tools to do the job thoroughly.’
    attendant, retainer
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    1. 1.1cleaners A shop where clothes and fabrics are dry-cleaned.
      ‘my suit's at the cleaners’
      • ‘You take me on errands to the bank, the cleaners, the pharmacy, and everyone on the street knows you.’
      • ‘We were supposed to put all the clothes from the cleaners or the laundry onto crocheted hangers that my grandmother had made for us.’
      • ‘When you drop your clothes off at the cleaners, the employees follow a pattern that holds true at just about any dry-cleaning operation running today.’
      • ‘You get a whiff of that fluid too, every time you pick up your clothes from the cleaners.’
      • ‘For instance, when all the actors sent their clothes to the cleaners, all of the women's underwear was sent back.’
    2. 1.2 A device for cleaning, such as a vacuum cleaner.
      • ‘Use one of the many commercial deck cleaners available according to instructions on the label.’
      • ‘Other firms have shown off prototype robot cleaners, but it is the first to put one into production.’
      • ‘A standard central vacuum canister works on the same principle as a conventional cleaner.’
      • ‘Since babies spend so much time on the floor, avoid commercial carpet cleaners that may use harmful chemicals.’
      • ‘An electronic cleaner produces negative ions that are attracted to the pollutants.’
      • ‘A mechanical drain cleaner can move the can out of the way - temporarily.’
      • ‘Ultrasonic cleaners only work with hard crystalline stones; otherwise avoid them.’
      • ‘The shriveled black olives are then vacuumed up with machines that look like street cleaners.’
    3. 1.3 A chemical substance used for cleaning.
      ‘an oven cleaner’
      • ‘Install child safety locks on cabinets to safely store chemicals, cleaners, medicines, cosmetics and other toxic and/or caustic products.’
      • ‘Caution: Do not mix bleach and ammonia (or mix any cleaners that contain these chemicals).’
      • ‘Chemical drain cleaners will only free up one small section of the drainage system temporarily.’
      • ‘Vinyl cleaners sold in furniture stores or auto stores help clean stubborn soil on vinyl upholstery.’
      • ‘It's important to avoid conventional oven cleaners; they contain lye and ammonia, which can damage your respiratory tract if inhaled.’
      • ‘Many stove or oven cleaners produce less toxic fumes than earlier versions.’
      • ‘Do not use abrasive household cleaners on these surfaces because they may scratch.’
      • ‘That was just about bearable, but then they started spraying the table-tops with chemical cleaners, the thin mist wafting over onto our plates and up our noses.’
      • ‘Disinfectants, deodorant soaps, toilet bowl cleaners and even mouthwash kill the beneficial bacteria.’
      • ‘Recently, several molecular studies showed that fumes from household cleaners and industrial chemical waste are also asthma triggers.’
      • ‘Benzene, a chemical in detergents and oven cleaners, is also known to be a carcinogen.’
      • ‘There are many commercial bathroom scum cleaners available.’
      • ‘In oven cleaners, lye and sodium hydroxide can burn skin, eyes, and the respiratory tract.’
      • ‘Spray the rim, toilet seat, counter top and sink with your all-purpose cleaner.’
      • ‘Remove marks with a plastic scouring pad and a mildly abrasive cleaner.’
      • ‘Many soaps and other sudsy cleaners like dishwashing liquid and shampoo are detergents.’
      • ‘Try, whenever possible, to avoid the use of aerosol products like air fresheners, oven cleaners and hairspray that vaporise chemicals into the air, your lungs and onto your skin.’
      • ‘Stronger cleaners such as oven or drain cleaners also contain corrosive substances, which will kill and remove tissue cells.’
      • ‘Supermarket shelves are filled with household cleaners containing strong chemicals which can pollute the environment and pose health hazards.’
      • ‘What goes down the drain at home winds up in the sea - phosphate detergents, household solvents, chemical cleaners and human sewage.’


  • take someone to the cleaners

    • 1informal Take all someone's money or possessions in a dishonest or unfair way.

      ‘he had a lot of dishonest partners who really took him to the cleaners’
      • ‘Her drinking accelerated and her accountant took her to the cleaners.’
      • ‘A bunch of slick, elitist, wingnut hucksters are taking them to the cleaners.’
      • ‘Eight years ago I met and married John, sold my house and bought the home we have now, as John had been taken to the cleaners in an acrimonious divorce.’
      • ‘The woman seeks revenge by plotting to marry the attorney and then taking him to the cleaners in their own divorce.’
      • ‘A QC said I could take him to the cleaners for half his fortune, but I wanted to sort it out amicably so I phoned him.’
      • ‘It is perhaps an unintended irony that on the same page that we find ads for cleaners, we find ads for the guys who will take you to the cleaners if you let them.’
      • ‘Marry a woman, or spend a while with her in a de facto relationship, and she can take you to the cleaners if she doesn't get what she wants.’
      • ‘He may even be afraid that his wife will leave him or take him to the cleaners.’
      hoodwink, hoax, dupe, deceive, trick, fool, make a fool of, mislead, take in, delude, misguide
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      1. 1.1Inflict a crushing defeat on someone.
        ‘his team were taken to the cleaners by the Australians in the first Test’
        • ‘If one team gets on top of their game and the other team isn't, then they are quite capable of taking them to the cleaners - and that's what happened to us.’
        • ‘From there until the interval they took Laois to the cleaners.’
        • ‘A litigious employee could take us to the cleaners.’
        • ‘I think this is the Big Apple, and if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, but you better be good or they'll take you to the cleaners.’
        • ‘His wife took him to the cleaners, quite rightly in my view.’
        • ‘In any debate on the EU he will be taken to the cleaners.’
        • ‘She absolutely took me to the cleaners in a pin trade.’
        • ‘Frequently I've felt intimidated, but they're often as nervous as I am, and I rest in the knowledge that I've done my homework, and there is no attempt to take them to the cleaners.’
        • ‘I used to play that with my cousins during the holidays and always took them to the cleaners.’
        • ‘I think that they reckoned we had something of a soft underbelly up front but we took them to the cleaners.’
        defeat, beat, best, get the better of, gain the advantage over, prevail over, triumph over, gain a victory over, trounce, rout, thrash, drub, vanquish, conquer, master, overcome, overwhelm, overpower, overthrow, crush, subdue, subjugate
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