Definition of clear in English:



  • 1Easy to perceive, understand, or interpret.

    ‘clear and precise directions’
    ‘her handwriting was clear’
    ‘am I making myself clear?’
    • ‘The music is crystal clear without any hiss or distortion in the mix.’
    • ‘The audio is quite good for a mono track, with dialogue clear and easy to understand.’
    • ‘The implications of the refusal of the hand are clear and yet beautifully understated.’
    • ‘Oddly, it was easier to have a clear conversation with someone in the Northampton area than someone in the office next door.’
    • ‘I hope I am making myself clear, because you bring up a good point with this, for me.’
    • ‘I have made this point abundantly clear on more than one occasion.’
    • ‘I found the setup guide on the website extremely clear and easy to follow, so haven't tried to replicate it here.’
    • ‘It is raw, natural, with a distinct style, yet the underlying melody comes out strong and clear.’
    • ‘The book also suggests ways of taking on this problem in a clear and direct manner that can be grasped easily by any reader.’
    • ‘Can anyone suggest a good, clear, easy beginner's book to the Kabbalah?’
    • ‘She had a strong clear voice that you would think could only come from a woman twice her age.’
    • ‘The route planner and mapfinder are separate, but the site is clear and easy to use.’
    • ‘With the audio, all you can say is that it's clear and you can understand what is being said.’
    • ‘Instruments are clear and easy to read and the single CD sound system was excellent.’
    • ‘Suddenly, from somewhere within the motel, a bell rang out clear and strong.’
    • ‘The display is crisp and clear and is easy to read - just how it should be.’
    • ‘Alan is very quiet and contained and clear when he's directing, and there's nothing you want more than that.’
    • ‘The switchgear has a quality feel and is well laid out, whilst the dials are clear and easy to read.’
    • ‘There has been extensive market research and field trials of various sample maps to ensure that the new maps are clear and easy to read.’
    • ‘It is that particular focus, with his easy and clear style of writing, that makes this volume so helpful.’
    understandable, comprehensible, intelligible, easy to understand, plain, direct, uncomplicated, explicit, lucid, perspicuous, coherent, logical, distinct, simple, straightforward, clearly expressed, unambiguous, clear-cut, crystal clear, accessible, user-friendly
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    1. 1.1Leaving no doubt; obvious or unambiguous.
      ‘it was clear that they were in a trap’
      ‘a clear case of poisoning’
      • ‘This has been interpreted as a clear steer for councils to consider congestion charging.’
      • ‘If a relationship is strong, a clear patterning to the variables will be evident.’
      • ‘There are, however, problems that impede a clear interpretation of the data.’
      • ‘That is clear from the Directive, the Act and the regulations in the Code.’
      • ‘A clear and coherent understanding of our national past is an essential building block for the future.’
      • ‘What is clear is that both understandings are relevant to the development of international systems.’
      • ‘In doing so he became the first to propose a method of exhaustion although it is not entirely clear how well he understood his own proposal.’
      • ‘However it makes it clear there is a strong argument in favour of the system, and Britain had a duty to explore them.’
      • ‘I was not with her in Greece but the press reports of her remarks seem abundantly clear.’
      • ‘It was clear to me he understood what assets he had and what he wanted to do with them.’
      • ‘But the evidence that the family was blighted already seemed abundantly clear.’
      • ‘If the training courses had to be gazetted, then there would be a clear and an easy track for someone to follow.’
      • ‘I do not think it is at all easy to be clear as to whether those mistakes were so inappropriate that they need to be matters of discipline.’
      • ‘In this situation, it is not clear how to interpret the results of the above tests.’
      • ‘There is clear evidence of a strong vested interest in peace among all sections of Naga peoples.’
      • ‘The budget document makes this clear to anyone who understands what is going on and it does so with refreshing clarity.’
      • ‘The combined entity should also have a clear majority of independent directors.’
      • ‘Both images are clouded with a lack of clear understanding about their subject.’
      • ‘They take some things to be true and others to be false, yet they have no clear understanding as to why they do so.’
      • ‘The rules provide a fairly clear indication of what past practice was.’
      obvious, evident, plain, apparent, crystal clear, as clear as crystal, transparent
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    2. 1.2Having or feeling no doubt or confusion.
      ‘every pupil must be clear about what is expected’
      • ‘More to the point, the great adventuresses of French fiction usually had a clear idea of what they were up to.’
      • ‘Let's get a clear idea what we want it to look like when it's done.’
      • ‘That is not to say that Campbell and his team do not have clear ideas about what exactly they want for the firm and what clients expect of them.’
      • ‘Its editor has a clear idea of why things took off.’
      • ‘At least everyone is clear on what an exclamation mark is for, even if they overuse it.’
      • ‘Therefore parents need to inform their young daughters and sons to be clear around the idea of consent.’
      • ‘I was then in my late twenties, and had a fairly clear idea of what I was doing.’
      • ‘This checklist would give the student a clear idea of what to look for when choosing a creative-writing course.’
      • ‘I've followed everything all the parties have said, and now have a clear idea of the major differences.’
      • ‘At the time he struck me as a very enthusiastic young man with a clear idea of what he wanted to do.’
      • ‘Did you have a clear idea about how long it would take to impose your ideas on the team?’
      • ‘Dostoevsky appears not to have had a clear idea of how to proceed.’
      • ‘I didn't have any clear ideas as to what I was going to do with it, or even for how long I would stick at it before getting bored.’
      • ‘They have no clear idea, or simply do not think about, the complicated process of making it.’
      • ‘I learned that one ought to try to have a clear idea of where you're wanting to go.’
      • ‘My mind is perfectly clear on one point.’
      • ‘The device of the gathering for a family portrait gives the audience a clear idea of who's who.’
      • ‘Don't rush off to the media without a clear idea of what you want to accomplish.’
      • ‘That outing has given him a clear idea about how the Olympic boxing contests would be.’
      • ‘It is important for us to get a clear idea of the way in which members approach their tasks.’
  • 2(of a substance) transparent; unclouded.

    ‘the clear glass of the French windows’
    ‘a stream of clear water’
    • ‘He pauses to pour ice water into a clear glass tumbler, and drinks from it heartily.’
    • ‘The doc recommended that we keep him off solid foods and on clear fluids for at least 24 hours.’
    • ‘It was a perfect Swedish June, with the sun striking buttery lights off still clear water.’
    • ‘A little water spilled over the blue top, speckling the darkly varnished wood with clear droplets of water.’
    • ‘Place the tray over a heating pad and cover it with a piece of glass or clear plastic.’
    • ‘The water was clear as the air and the wildflowers looked as if they had never been touched.’
    • ‘People are encouraged to begin to drink and eat as soon as they feel ready, starting with clear fluids such as water or apple juice.’
    • ‘Mix a teaspoon of clear honey with one drop of rose water and apply to the lips before bed.’
    • ‘The tea must be brewed in a teapot, preferably made of glass so that a glimpse of the clear amber liquid adds to the delight.’
    • ‘A light, clear soup is a great appetiser, and sipping fizzy drinks makes it easier to prolong a meal.’
    • ‘The holder, bought in Italy, is clear plastic and fractionally larger than the card.’
    • ‘While many of the beaches are black with volcanic mud, others are coral, with very clear water.’
    • ‘Try that, he says, thrusting a glass brimming with clear liquid in my direction.’
    • ‘It was the same guy from the couch, holding a glass of clear liquid and looking concerned.’
    • ‘Some individuals are able to get a similar result by coating nails with clear polish.’
    • ‘It was a gorgeous bowl of strawberries in a beautiful, gleaming clear glass bowl.’
    • ‘Wash the mushrooms under clear water, dry on a towel, and cut the large ones in smaller pieces.’
    • ‘Remove from heat, stir in one teaspoon of clear honey and pour the mixture into a ceramic bowl.’
    • ‘Chemists then adjust the mixture, so as to maintain compatibility with the clear glass.’
    • ‘As she put the roses into clear water, she knew with out a shadow of a doubt that she was loved.’
    transparent, limpid, pellucid, translucent, crystalline, crystal clear, glassy, glass-like
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    1. 2.1Free of cloud, mist, or rain.
      ‘the day was fine and clear’
      • ‘They all looked up and saw the dark clouds were disappearing towards the west and the sky was clear.’
      • ‘Her eyes were greeted by a clear sky, save for a few thin puffs of clouds here and there.’
      • ‘Peering into an evening sky, clear of clouds, is one of life's more rewarding moments.’
      • ‘Mars is whizzing by, the skies are clear - and I can't get my telescope to work!’
      • ‘The sky was clear and dazzling, and there was not even a cloud in the sky to warn him of dreary days.’
      • ‘These are occasions that stand out on the Irish sporting calendar, like stars in a clear sky.’
      • ‘You need a clear sky, with just enough cloud to tease some of the more dramatic colours out of the sunbeams.’
      • ‘It was a clear night and there isn't anything behind the tree upon which a shadow could be cast.’
      • ‘The afternoon is warm though the sky is not entirely clear.’
      • ‘It was three o'clock in the afternoon and the sun was baking down from a clear sky.’
      • ‘The sky was perfectly clear; the moon, a strip of curved ribbon, gleamed brightly.’
      • ‘We join overnight guests in the outdoor pool where we look for meteors in the crystal clear, star-studded sky.’
      • ‘I was lucky it turned out to be a clear night and no rain would get in the way of my plan.’
      • ‘Much as I delight in really dramatic sunsets, there's a special, quiet joy to be had when the sky is clear of clouds.’
      • ‘We of course wanted clear skies or our efforts would be thwarted but the morning had been very overcast and we were not hopeful.’
      • ‘The view from the window may not be as clear and free of cloud as we would wish.’
      • ‘Here in the UK we wait all year for a decent day of weather and then complain about it within the first few minutes of clear sky.’
      • ‘There was a brisk breeze coming in across the North Sea but clear skies and bright sunshine made it pleasant even so.’
      • ‘It was a clear night, no clouds to release any surprise showers, just stars dotting the navy sky like diamonds.’
      • ‘I was delighted and relieved that the weather was clear and the cloud base was high, so she could see for herself how lovely it is.’
      bright, cloudless, unclouded, without a cloud in the sky, fair, fine, light, undimmed
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    2. 2.2(of a person's skin) free from blemishes.
      ‘Norma's clear skin did not need a heavy foundation’
      • ‘His skin was white and wonderfully clear.’
      • ‘He was doing far worse than the last time I saw him when his skin was almost clear.’
      • ‘Her skin used to be clear, but now it was blotchy and there were still a few nasty bruises on her bony legs.’
      • ‘He had clear olive skin, short brown hair and the most intense brown eyes she had ever seen.’
      • ‘The face is large and full, the complexion pale and often not very clear, being subject to skin disorders.’
      unblemished, spot-free
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    3. 2.3(of a colour) pure and intense.
      ‘clear blue delphiniums’
      • ‘Broth in an uninoculated tube was clear blue and without a pellicle or precipitate.’
      • ‘Utterly relaxed, she was lying clean and pure in a pool of warm, clear blue, naked and bathed in light.’
      • ‘Everything was a forest green or a clear blue, with patches of sunlight here and there.’
      • ‘It bulldozed through those boundaries and broke into clear blue space.’
      • ‘It could be produced in many bright, clear colours, and had long life and durability.’
      • ‘Our first port of call was a small clear blue pool at the bottom of the stairs.’
      • ‘I could see the clock at the other side of the room and all the colours were so clear.’
      • ‘They were the clear blue color she so clearly recalled, the same color of river her mother's had been.’
      • ‘The colour is clear and some inclusions of biotite and melt are present.’
      • ‘Behind them, a lady with one green eye and the other a clear blue was selling marionettes.’
      • ‘To my astonishment, it was no longer a clear blue, but had turned to a hazel sort of green.’
      • ‘His eyes were still that same clear blue, and they were certain that there was a smile on his face.’
      • ‘The sky was a crisp, clear blue and the trees were every shade of yellow, orange and red.’
      • ‘Colours are clear and bold and the technique is smooth and glossy.’
      • ‘In winter, the colour changes to a clear white, broken only by a black tip on the tail.’
      • ‘It should come out a clear dark amber colour and have a lovely flavour.’
      • ‘It's a silvery world of mauves, soft greens and occasional outbursts of clear colour.’
      • ‘The pupils were black, and surrounding them was a ring of clear blue.’
      • ‘On the left side of his chest there were clear blue bruises and also on his abdomen.’
      • ‘Beauty is generally perceived as a good clear colour and transparency, as shown by fine emeralds or rubies.’
    4. 2.4archaic (of a fire) burning with little smoke.
      ‘a bright, clear flame’
      • ‘As it heated he held his hands close to the clear flame, worked his knuckles loose.’
  • 3Free of any obstructions or unwanted objects.

    ‘with a clear road ahead he shifted into high gear’
    ‘I had a clear view in both directions’
    • ‘In heavy rain, the fastest speed of the windscreen wipers is inadequate to keep the view ahead clear.’
    • ‘By Friday afternoon, the shrine appeared empty, clear of the visitors and the militants.’
    • ‘All aspects of the soundtrack are free and clear of any excessive noise or distortion.’
    • ‘But even inside the exclusion zone, the middle of the road was quite clear of snow.’
    • ‘One lane was soon opened and the road was clear by the afternoon.’
    • ‘My wardrobes are clear of posters and postcards and the fixture list is now binned.’
    • ‘We ask all parents to keep the gateway clear at school times.’
    • ‘I enjoy keeping the garden clear of old raspberry canes, intrusive crab grass, and debris.’
    • ‘All aspects of the dialogue, effects and music are free and clear of any distortion.’
    • ‘You can check if a car is clear of any outstanding finance deals by contacting companies that research the car's history for you.’
    • ‘It meant the rallying duo would have a clear road ahead of them at the start of second day.’
    • ‘I was driving and waited until the road ahead was clear before attempting to overtake.’
    • ‘It would also serve the purpose of keeping the river clear of weeds and watercress.’
    • ‘In a car sit in the front seat if possible so you can get a clear view of the road.’
    • ‘When the road ahead is clear, it smoothly accelerates to the speed originally set by the driver.’
    • ‘Directional effects are utilized in multiple scenes while the dialogue is all clear of any excessive hiss or distortion.’
    • ‘The small amount of sail left a clear view ahead, so he came back and joined her when he had fastened the ropes to his satisfaction.’
    unobstructed, unblocked, passable, unimpeded, open, empty, free, unlimited, unrestricted, unhindered
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    1. 3.1(of a period of time) free of any appointments or commitments.
      ‘the following Saturday, Mattie had a clear day’
      • ‘Chose a clear day to mend a broken fence covered in a climber, as it will be a time-consuming job to untie and untangle the plant.’
    2. 3.2[predicative](of a person) free of something undesirable or unpleasant.
      ‘after 18 months of treatment he was clear of TB’
      • ‘She continued to go for yearly check-ups and was told she was clear.’
      • ‘He began to improve within days, and as far as the doctors can tell, he is now clear of the cancer.’
      • ‘Her career was back on the up again when she was welcomed back into the fold this summer, and it looked as though she was clear of problems.’
      • ‘Sadly, after believing he was clear of the cancer, it has returned and has now moved to his liver.’
      • ‘Both were later found to be clear of the disease and it is understood that they're attending lessons as usual.’
      • ‘She said he was now clear of heroin and planned to resume his work when he was released from jail.’
      • ‘The musician believes he is clear of the disease following treatment at London's Royal Marsden Hospital.’
      • ‘Chris is a naturally fit guy, and as soon as he was clear of injury he was ready to come back into the team.’
      • ‘A fund was set up in her name, and she is now clear of leukemia and back in Baghdad with her family.’
      • ‘But now - just before her eighth birthday - a scan has shown she is clear of the disease.’
      free, devoid, empty, vacant, void
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    3. 3.3(of a person's mind) free of anything that impairs logical thought.
      ‘in the morning, with a clear head, she would tackle all her problems’
      • ‘He is a writer with a clear mind and a vigorous style, who knows a great deal and how to express it.’
      • ‘Plus, now that you have been scattered into a vapor, you no longer have a clear mind.’
      • ‘The void is full of potential, just like a clear mind free of eccentricities, prejudices and egos.’
      • ‘My mind was clear and the only words flowing were the words my younger sister had just said.’
      • ‘Some claim that he refused treatment of this and other pain killers so that, despite his pain, his mind was clear for his music.’
      • ‘You have got to have a clear mind to play this game and my mind's just not there at the moment.’
      • ‘There were quite a few things that she needed to worry about now that she had a clear mind.’
      • ‘I aim to go to sleep with a clear mind, the conflicts of the day resolved and my soul reconciled.’
      • ‘She returned to the golden light with a clear mind and told herself to wake up.’
      • ‘And once the decision had been made, his mind was clear and he was free to play the way he knew he could.’
      • ‘Until Monday, I'll leave my opinions to the side and watch it with a clear mind to see how things turn out.’
      • ‘He wanted me to clean my bad thoughts away, so my mind was clear.’
      • ‘I trust the Scottish Football Association, who already have a clear mind about this.’
      • ‘We'll need clear minds tomorrow and for the rest of the four weeks.’
      • ‘Such activities are vital to ensure he can face the challenges of his work with a clear mind.’
      • ‘When you have had a hard time, your experience will help you teach with a clear mind.’
      • ‘Thank you for providing a place safe from all the media frenzy to look at the current situation with a clear mind.’
      • ‘His mind was clear to the end and his suffering must have been extreme for him to make the request he did.’
      • ‘I think I can face up to my confessor with a clear mind that I have done good deeds in this world.’
      • ‘An empty desk, a clear mind and a burst of determination ought not to be wasted.’
      logical, rational, well thought out, lucid, coherent, cogent, systematic, methodical, organized, well organized, well expressed, well presented, considered, sensible, intelligent
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    4. 3.4(of a person's conscience) free of guilt.
      ‘I left the house with a clear conscience’
      • ‘My conscience is clear and if I had to make the same decisions again, I would.’
      • ‘My conscience is clear as I know we gave her the best we could with what we had available to us.’
      • ‘I would like to remind the Cabinet Ministers that a clear conscience is a soft pillow.’
      • ‘My conscience is clear and I wish to help the inquiry in any way that I can.’
      • ‘Anyway, I was glad to help and can now return to California with a clear conscience.’
      • ‘He said he will put the story right in time and he has a clear conscience.’
      • ‘If I woke up some morning and said it was not for me, I'd have an absolutely clear conscience.’
      • ‘My conscience is clear, but I now dread having anything to do with reporting anything to the authorities.’
      • ‘He angrily denied the claims, saying his conscience was clear.’
      • ‘For our part we have a clear conscience, as we will not accept donations from such companies.’
      • ‘He was trying to convince himself that he had not cheated, which showed he didn't have a clear conscience.’
      • ‘When I went to prison I had a clear conscience and when I got out I had a clear conscience.’
      • ‘These facts he could deliver with a clear conscience and a straight face, and he did.’
      • ‘When it came, she was armed with tissues and a clear conscience for what she knew had to be done.’
      • ‘Of course this could just be my tortured logic enabling me to vote for him with a clear conscience…’
      • ‘Only then can we carry out the third and final step with a clear conscience.’
      • ‘Earlier in the week she had appeared before MPs to say she did not intend to resign because she had a clear conscience.’
      • ‘He's proved his point long ago and could pack it in tomorrow if he wanted with a clear conscience.’
      • ‘The answer is now less impressive, but it can be given with certainty and with a clear conscience.’
      • ‘Politics, in many ways, does not delight in a clear conscience and clean hands.’
      untroubled, undisturbed, unworried, unperturbed, unconcerned, unbothered, with no qualms
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  • 4Not touching; away from.

    ‘the lorry was wedged in the ditch, one wheel clear of the ground’
    • ‘His grateful passengers disembark and head for their cars, parked on either side of the road clear of the water.’
  • 5[attributive] Complete; full.

    ‘you must give seven clear days' notice of the meeting’
    whole, full, entire, complete, total, solid, round, unbroken
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    1. 5.1(of a sum of money) net.
      ‘a clear profit of £1,100’
      after taxes, after deductions, take-home, final
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  • 6Phonetics
    Denoting a palatalized form of the sound of the letter l (as in leaf in south-eastern English speech).

    Often contrasted with dark


  • 1So as to be out of the way of or away from.

    ‘he leapt clear of the car’
    ‘stand clear, I'll start the plane up’
    • ‘For, he told his fans to stay clear of supporting issues that had political overtones.’
    • ‘After an experience like that, I warned all my friends to steer well clear of diving out of aeroplanes.’
    • ‘Our warning system was non-existent, so everybody tried to stay clear of the field.’
    • ‘Always keep your fingers well clear of their claws.’
    • ‘When she was clear of the car, she turned and dashed into the hedge of the neighbor's yard.’
    • ‘But the palace, ever the wiser, is steering clear of the controversy.’
    • ‘Native birds, he said, were not at risk because they stayed clear of the starling horde.’
    • ‘The older woman was thrown clear of the vehicle and received only minor injuries.’
    • ‘It went down and I worked it around the stern, keeping the line clear of the lower unit.’
    • ‘The best that a win can do for them is help them steer clear of the relegation zone.’
    • ‘It was clear the Italian couple and Russians were aghast but keeping clear of interfering.’
    • ‘That allows you to consistently run at your peak, to consistently run the fast times, to stay clear of your pursuers.’
    • ‘He says the girls were on grass beyond the footpath, and well clear of the roadway.’
    • ‘He held his nerve as the roars of the crowd echoed in his ears and silky footwork took him clear of desperate tackles.’
    • ‘Stay well clear of them as they are all blood sucking parasites.’
    • ‘From the start the pace was on with four competitors breaking clear of the pack and setting a blistering pace.’
    • ‘Directional control was maintained and the aircraft was taxied clear of the runway.’
    • ‘After landing, we taxied clear of the runway and immediately shut down the aircraft.’
    • ‘If there's something absolutely petty going on, just stay clear of it and get out of the way, because it just boils up.’
    • ‘Her body was thrown clear of the single-decker bus as it rounded a corner.’
    away from, apart from, beyond, at a distance from, at a safe distance from, out of contact with
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    1. 1.1So as not to be obstructed or cluttered.
      ‘the floor had been swept clear of litter’
  • 2Completely.

    ‘he had time to get clear away’
    • ‘John glared back at him, tempted to shove him clear off the railing.’
    • ‘He stepped forward and embraced his son, lifting him clear off the ground.’
    completely, entirely, thoroughly, fully, wholly, totally, utterly, quite, altogether
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    1. 2.1North American All the way to.
      ‘you could see clear to the bottom of the lagoon’


  • 1Make or become clear, in particular.

    1. 1.1[with object]Remove an obstruction or unwanted item or items from.
      ‘the drive had been cleared of snow’
      ‘Carolyn cleared the table and washed up’
      • ‘The ship's dining room has been cleared of the tables and the last dance has just finished.’
      • ‘Credit must go to the ground staff and the club's trainees and youth coaching staff who on Saturday cleared the pitch of snow to ensure the game was able to go ahead.’
      • ‘Her mother gave her a smile as she began clearing the table of dirty plates.’
      • ‘I was curious about the huge chunks of snow on the sides of the road, but then realised that it was because snow graders had come along earlier and cleared the road of snow.’
      • ‘When the table was finally cleared away, we brought the plates to the kitchen and started to wash them.’
      • ‘Back when every farm dugout was cleared of snow by mid-December and hand-me-down skates were laced up over hand-me-down boots.’
      • ‘The cobwebs were finally cleared out of his head and his alertness had returned.’
      • ‘Venting worked and smoke has been cleared from his lungs.’
      • ‘It was mid-morning by the time the snow plough had cleared a path down the lane.’
      • ‘The crop stack would then be cleared of any rodents.’
      • ‘Purification is about clearing the path to our destination so we're free to enjoy the sights along our journey.’
      • ‘Tables were cleared promptly which is usually a good sign.’
      • ‘Angioplasty is a popular procedure for clearing clogged arteries and veins, but it can also be risky.’
      • ‘It has been cleared of rats and other introduced predators.’
      • ‘Whatever the weather, Cumbria County Council is bound by law to send the snow plough out to clear the highways.’
      • ‘He sat down at the dirty table, clearing a space to set his arms.’
      • ‘He coughed a few times, clearing his liquid filled throat.’
      • ‘Bulldozers have cleared debris from some of the city's main arteries.’
      • ‘This island was named by Captain Cook and has been cleared of rats and vermin so as to be used as a bird sanctuary.’
      • ‘It took me a few minutes to clear it from my laundry and shake it free from my finger tips.’
      unblock, unclog, unstop
      remove, take away, carry away, move, shift, tidy away, tidy up
      empty, void
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    2. 1.2[with object]Free (land) for cultivation or building by removing vegetation or existing structures.
      ‘the embankment was cleared for a new section of line’
      • ‘Land had to be cleared, vegetables put in, crops sown.’
      • ‘There are many very nice large festivals that have private land that has been cleared and is beautiful for camping.’
      • ‘The lithic finds, many of which are arrow heads, date back to the days of the forest, before the low-lying coastal lands were cleared and cultivated.’
      • ‘These early families set to work clearing the land, building shelters, and planting crops.’
      • ‘Woodland grew back on land which had been cleared.’
      • ‘There is concern though that some of the land has been poorly cleared and is now turning back into scrub.’
      • ‘Two-hundred and sixty million acres of US forestland have been cleared for crop land to produce the meat-centered diet.’
      • ‘The planters contributed their share to the problem by clearing their forested family lands to grow coffee.’
      • ‘More vegetation has been cleared in Victoria than any other part of Australia, with over 60 percent of its natural vegetation gone.’
      • ‘Thoreau realized that the land had been cleared about 15 years previous to him moving there, and there were still a lot of stumps stuck in the ground.’
      • ‘Once the land has been cleared, the paid thugs are amazed to discover that the new owners are their military patrons - and that they are still poor.’
      • ‘In the Alpine regions, south-facing mountain slopes have been cleared for pasture land and crops.’
      • ‘One option could be to follow the North-East and give unwanted blocks of flats away for a few pounds to private buyers who could pay for the land to be cleared and redeveloped.’
      • ‘The council first received a complaint in January that vegetation was being cleared at the property.’
      • ‘Then the land had to be cleared, and extra help engaged all while the wives were ‘fretful and homesick’.’
      • ‘The farmers cleared the land, cultivated rye and flax, and raised cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry.’
      • ‘At the same time, shrublands and forests began to be cleared and converted to dry farming.’
      • ‘Elsewhere, land was cleared and sold for new housing and office developments.’
      • ‘The fossils were uncovered when land was being cleared for an olive orchard.’
      • ‘Before they could start farming the land had to be cleared which was a back breaking job with the primitive equipment in use at that time.’
    3. 1.3[with object]Cause people to leave (a building or place)
      ‘the wardens shouted a warning and cleared the streets’
      • ‘We thought that they would take our warning seriously and clear the building.’
      • ‘Ideally a building should be cleared from the top downwards.’
      • ‘The incident caused congestion on surrounding roads as police cleared the area.’
      • ‘By 6pm, riot police had begun to clear the city centre, forcing the crowds out towards Westgate.’
      • ‘A campaign to clear York streets of beggars has got off to a promising start, according to those running it.’
      • ‘The streets below were quickly cleared by police.’
      • ‘Beggars will be cleared from city centre streets and fined or imprisoned under police plans to tackle aggressive behaviour and improve Scotland's image.’
      • ‘Forty staff from Westminster then helped workers from the Royal Parks to clear the Mall and neighbouring parks.’
      • ‘They have assisted in clearing buildings and homes, because it's a manpower-intensive battle in the urban terrain.’
      • ‘We went through all of the building and cleared all of the rooms.’
      • ‘Knowing the gas inside the cylinders had overheated, firefighters had no choice but to order roads and homes to be cleared within a 200m radius of the site.’
      • ‘They continued down Cedar Lane, having cleared the last populated places.’
      • ‘The crowd left shortly after police cleared the building, heading home with sleeping bags and supplies they brought to convert the building into a place for people to live.’
      • ‘After half an hour or so, they removed the hazard, and cleared the scene, allowing us to go back to work.’
      evacuate, empty, make empty, make vacant
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4[no object]Gradually go away or disappear.
      ‘the fever clears in two to four weeks’
      ‘the mist had cleared away’
      • ‘Stand by your brand in slow times, and watch it grow when the storm clears.’
      • ‘After a stinking, smelly day, the clouds and muck cleared, and wandering down Oxford Street you can feel the sense of a city starting to shed its seasonal cocoon.’
      • ‘The television fizzed for a second and the distortion began to clear.’
      • ‘Some investors figure that when the smoke clears, Brazil will be solid.’
      • ‘The dry season is finally here, and after six months the rain and humidity have disappeared and the clouds have cleared.’
      • ‘Or, a company may need so much drastic fixing that a full-timer would just be resented too much if he stayed after the storm cleared.’
      • ‘After the earlier downpours, the rain clouds cleared and the sun arrived just in time for Saturday's colourful street procession.’
      • ‘The situation is at the stage where the total damage cannot be estimated, because the water has not cleared, as yet, and unfortunately today they are expecting more rain.’
      • ‘The rain had cleared, a rainbow was high above amongst the clouds, a fluffy white only a hint of dull grey round the edges.’
      • ‘The smoke cleared to reveal the floor covered with black and dark green snakes of all lengths and speeds.’
      • ‘He saw the clouds had cleared from the sky and the sun was shining.’
      • ‘It had stopped raining and clouds had cleared showing the sky's spectacular show of sparkling lights.’
      • ‘Now that the dust has cleared I should begin by thanking you all for your words of support and encouragement last week.’
      • ‘With the early morning rain well cleared, the teams took the field in bright sunshine and calm conditions.’
      • ‘Sound systems were connected up and barbecues were lit and then the fog cleared, the rain stopped and the sun came out.’
      • ‘My condition began clearing that first week, but I continued seeing him for treatment.’
      • ‘I told the kid to watch the sky in the east because as the clouds cleared in the west, the sun peeked through.’
      • ‘By evening the mood was festive again, and the rain had cleared.’
      • ‘The rain would partially clear on Saturday when the cold front causing it moved away to the interior.’
      • ‘The rain had stopped and the clouds had cleared for the most part.’
      disappear, go away, melt away, vanish, end
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5[no object]Become free of cloud or rain.
      ‘we'll go out if the weather clears’
      • ‘The skies slowly cleared and the cumulus clouds got friendlier as the day went on.’
      • ‘After a week of heavy rain the weather cleared just in time for the first event of 2004.’
      • ‘She looked toward the sky, which had cleared from the rain.’
      • ‘There was a very brief spatter of rain, evaporating almost instantly as the drops hit the pavement, and then it stopped, the sky cleared, and there was no sign of rain to be seen once more.’
      • ‘But then, in one of those astonishingly swift changes for which the Himalayas are renowned, the rain stopped, the sky cleared, and sun shone brightly.’
      • ‘Stepping outside, he noticed the rain had stopped, the sky had cleared, but the sun was setting.’
      • ‘The players practised in rain yesterday and the long range forecast for tomorrow is cloudy, showers in the morning, but clearing in the afternoon.’
      • ‘After weeks of fog, wind and rain the weather suddenly cleared to allow for a helicopter trip to try and locate them.’
      • ‘But lo and behold as the round progressed the skies cleared and we had some fine and excellent golf weather.’
      • ‘The sky cleared to the west in Maryland, but it was raining in Delaware.’
      • ‘The sky began to clear and there were puffy white clouds forming as the evening faded away.’
      • ‘I looked up to see a sky clearing down to the horizon, with no sign of rain cloud.’
      • ‘But the weather had finally cleared up, leaving them no more excuses.’
      • ‘It was still very muddy, but the rain had stopped and the sky was clearing.’
      • ‘There was relief all around when the shower turned out to be only a brief one that dwindled into a sporadic drizzle that soon stopped as the sky cleared.’
      • ‘Generally there is a short thunderstorm in the afternoon and then the weather clears, but we had hardly any rain.’
      • ‘It was almost dawn, the sky was clearing, the crows had started cawing and the birds were chirping all around.’
      • ‘And by evening's end, the skies even cleared to reveal a stunning display of northern lights.’
      • ‘I had the good fortune to be outside under the stars when the sky cleared on Sunday.’
      • ‘We made landfall at Barra in September last year, and once the rain stopped and the sky cleared, agreed that the scenery was as beautiful as anything we'd seen on our trip.’
      lighten, become light, light up, break, clear up, become bright, become brighter, become lighter, become fine, become sunny
      View synonyms
    6. 1.6[no object](of a person's face or expression) assume a happier aspect following confusion or distress.
      ‘for a moment, Sam was confused; then his expression cleared’
      • ‘I waved the half-empty box weakly, and while his fingers lingered, his expression cleared.’
      • ‘Then his face cleared, and he looked up with a broad smile on his face, as though a light bulb had flicked on in his mind.’
      • ‘His glazed expression cleared slightly, and he smiled at her, motioning for her to join him.’
      • ‘She glanced down at him, and at once her expression cleared, and she smiled genuinely at him.’
      • ‘Then his expression cleared and he looked back and nodded.’
      • ‘She sounded angry, but after she chewed on her lip a little, her face cleared again.’
      • ‘She looks faintly surprised, and then her face clears.’
      • ‘The old crone's expression cleared at his last words.’
      • ‘His expression cleared, became serious, and a frisson of fear crawled down my spine.’
      • ‘They talked more openly when they knew I was a dancer, their faces cleared with recognition when I told them where I worked, and some looked envious.’
      • ‘Then the expression cleared and he was grinning at John.’
      • ‘But then his face cleared and became calm suddenly.’
      • ‘However that intoxicated expression immediately cleared when he recognized the face of the girl.’
      • ‘His lower lip started to push out, but then his expression cleared.’
      • ‘But then his expression cleared and he looked down at her with a semblance of calm.’
      • ‘But apparently, his memory took a few minutes to get itself right, because his expression cleared and realization dawned.’
      • ‘She looked confused by my good manners, then her face cleared as if the sun had just dawned.’
      • ‘She looked surprised for a moment, then laughed, her expression clearing.’
      • ‘Then he sat forward, his expression clearing and offered a slight smile.’
      • ‘Then his expression cleared and he turned to head down the stairs.’
  • 2[with object] Remove (an obstruction or unwanted item) from somewhere.

    ‘Karen cleared the dirty plates’
    ‘park staff cleared away dead trees’
    • ‘I cleared the final patch of weeds which was blocking progress.’
    • ‘That has forced manufacturers to rely on deep price cuts to clear their unwanted inventories.’
    • ‘They whispered to the tall man as they cleared dirty plates off the table and replaced them with platters of desserts.’
    • ‘These volunteers spent a few hours removing the sand from the footpath and clearing the seaweed from the slipway leading onto the beach.’
    • ‘There are signs of hope as people start to clear the rubble and sludge from their homes.’
    • ‘With any luck, clearing the worst away would bring natural economic forces into play.’
    • ‘The fire force officials rushed to the spot and cleared the uprooted trees to enable free flow of traffic.’
    • ‘I cleared magazines, guitar strings, and dirty clothes out of the way so he could sit beside me.’
    • ‘In some parts of Sofia, residents awoke to find that their refuse had been cleared.’
    • ‘We dug the culvert out clearing all the debris that was found in the culvert.’
    • ‘The fire was restarted and the debris was eventually cleared away.’
    • ‘They will help police with motorway accidents, removing damaged and abandoned vehicles and clearing debris from the road.’
    • ‘The stormy water has cleared some of the plankton and visibility is up to about 15m, though this is still a low reading by west coast standards.’
    unblock, unclog, unstop
    get rid of, throw away, throw out, discard, dispose of, dump, bin, scrap, do away with, jettison, eject, eliminate, throw on the scrapheap
    remove, take away, carry away, move, shift, tidy away, tidy up
    empty, void
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1(in soccer and other sports) send (the ball) away from the area near one's goal.
      ‘McAllister's lob was cleared off the line by Kernaghan’
      [no object] ‘Clarke headed towards the net but Nicol cleared’
      • ‘The German side win a free-kick outside the Chelsea box on the left flank, but the visitors clear.’
      • ‘The next thing to remember when clearing into triple threat is to never, and I mean never, take and put the ball up over your head immediately.’
      • ‘However his angled shot went across the goal and was cleared to safety.’
      • ‘The shot hit the post before being cleared to safety.’
      • ‘He can leave some big rebounds and doesn't get a lot of help from his defensemen in clearing them away or in removing the opposition from the crease.’
    2. 2.2Discharge (a debt)
      ‘at the moment I'm clearing debts’
      • ‘I use them for hotels abroad and rail fares, but I've never borrowed a penny on credit since I cleared £28,000 of debt in 2001.’
      • ‘As he ran he reviewed in his mind the balance sheets of his new firm, the debts that were being cleared, the reputation he was re-establishing.’
      • ‘In another, a substantial proportion of the debt has been cleared.’
      • ‘Of course, this means we pay more in interest and are even tempted to think that our debts have been magically cleared and so we start spending again.’
      • ‘If you have ever tried to pay off your five hundred on the credit card you will know how hard debt is to clear.’
      • ‘You only receive free credit if you clear the debt off in full at the end of the month.’
      • ‘After the debt has been cleared, and a better standard of player purchased, what then?’
      • ‘His first act as owner was to clear £150,000 of debts and take the club full-time.’
      • ‘They had received a lot of support and with a grant of €30,000 due from the County Council the debt for the development will be cleared.’
      • ‘The compensation will enable her to clear her debts, repay the money she borrowed from her mother and make a fresh start.’
      • ‘Its payment hierarchy means you clear the cheapest debt first.’
      • ‘I resolved to dig myself out of this mess and, following a hard-earned windfall and the sale of some shares, I cleared all of my debts in a very short time.’
      • ‘The money raised goes towards clearing some of the debt on the building.’
      • ‘A student in debt is trying to clear his overdraft by starting a website to help others manage their cash.’
      • ‘It was hoped that if gifts continued to come in the entire debt could be cleared.’
      • ‘She has spent the last 18 months appealing for her debt to be cleared.’
      • ‘Hence, after your 25 years are up, your entire debt will have been cleared.’
      • ‘There are evil guys to fend off; there is a debt to be cleared.’
      • ‘However the project will not begin until all debts have been cleared from phase one.’
      • ‘He predicted that between 100,000 to 200,000 people would lose their jobs as banks focus on cleaning up their books and clearing bad debts.’
      pay off, pay, repay, settle, discharge, square, make good, honour, defray, satisfy, account for, remit, liquidate
      View synonyms
  • 3[with object] Get past or over (something) safely or without touching it.

    ‘the plane rose high enough to clear the trees’
    ‘she cleared 1.50 metres in the high jump’
    • ‘Owen's shot cleared the bar but the point had been made.’
    • ‘The angel on top of the tree barely cleared the crystal chandelier that hung from the ceiling.’
    • ‘The project has been launched but it cannot take off without clearing the hurdles.’
    • ‘As he was still moving, the SUV roared past, barely clearing his car.’
    • ‘You can see he clearly was not picked up high enough and barely cleared the ropes.’
    • ‘If the property is already developed, those obstacles would already be cleared and the property would be worth more.’
    • ‘Once you can do this easily, you know you can jump high enough to clear the curb.’
    • ‘They nimbly cleared bows of fallen trees as they ran, pushing their legs to go faster and harder.’
    • ‘Once it clumsily clears the runway, it takes off.’
    • ‘I got as high up in the eddy as I could, so I would have enough speed to clear the hole.’
    • ‘To get there, some obstacles will have to be cleared.’
    • ‘What happens when a community built on oppression and struggle clears its final hurdle?’
    • ‘After clearing a very steep hill, the plane banks and dips abruptly to a tiny runway that ends brusquely on St. Jean's beach.’
    go over, get past, go above, pass over, sail over
    View synonyms
  • 4[with object] Officially show or declare (someone) to be innocent.

    ‘his sport's ruling body had cleared him of cheating’
    • ‘All four were cleared by the jury on both counts.’
    • ‘The other 120 patients have been cleared of having bird flu.’
    • ‘The Fire Service was cleared by a jury of breaching safety regulations.’
    • ‘He was given a life sentence but cleared of murder after a re-trial.’
    • ‘But, at the same time, they are being cleared of any wrong-doing.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the police officers involved in the fatal chase were cleared of any wrongdoing.’
    • ‘The clown is taken in by the police and is cleared of the charges.’
    • ‘The ICC has cleared him from any suspect action.’
    • ‘She spent 18 nightmare months in jail before the evidence on her double murder conviction was discredited and she was cleared on appeal in December 2003.’
    • ‘So even if he's cleared in both those appeals, it's not definite that he will go back into the team?’
    • ‘The 15-year-old boy cleared yesterday was the second teenager to be found not guilty of involvement.’
    • ‘There is a principle of English justice that anyone who stands trial, and is cleared, should walk free without a stain on his character.’
    • ‘Those charged stepped down from office pending a decision by the Commission of Inquiry, but were duly cleared.’
    • ‘So she's cleared in my book.’
    • ‘Once his name was cleared of the charges, the adoration for him was spontaneous.’
    • ‘An independent appeal panel cleared her in July 1995 after doubt was cast as to the accuracy of the tests carried out.’
    • ‘Yesterday the jury cleared him of manslaughter.’
    • ‘His family had filed a lawsuit accusing the federal government of violating his civil rights and holding him after the FBI cleared him of suspicion.’
    • ‘Although he was cleared on all counts, this one-time superstar has had his world and his psyche very publicly ripped apart.’
    • ‘He and his pals have to find the real villain to clear Harry and stop the carnage.’
    acquit, declare innocent, find not guilty
    View synonyms
  • 5[with object] Give official approval or authorization to.

    ‘I cleared him to return to his squadron’
    • ‘A developer has been cleared to begin work on the Western Bay's biggest residential subdivision, starting within two months.’
    • ‘In the meantime, officials have cleared cruise ships to leave the port.’
    • ‘The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Bill has been cleared by the Union cabinet.’
    • ‘In past years, a female operator who had been cleared by the shelter authorities was allowed to bring in a rig to contact the North Pole.’
    • ‘It is true that there is evidence that some returnees have been persecuted for and convicted of war crimes despite being included in any amnesty or cleared by the authorities before return.’
    • ‘Once a request has been made by the office of a federal lawmaker on behalf of a citizen wanting to visit the facility, it must be cleared by higher authorities.’
    • ‘This generates a security measure whereby all information posted by all content managers has to be cleared by the authorising officer before it is available online.’
    • ‘He climbed aboard the aircraft, started the engines, and was cleared for takeoff.’
    • ‘At exactly 00: 33 hours, we were cleared for takeoff by the Traffic Controller.’
    • ‘If the Supreme Court clears California's policy, other states will feel free to copy it.’
    • ‘What could cause an airplane to be cleared for landing and within a couple hundred feet of the ground all of a sudden take off again?’
    • ‘Johnson said state ethics officials cleared her involvement in both groups.’
    authorize, give permission, permit, allow, pass, accept, endorse, license, sanction, give approval to, give one's seal of approval to, give consent to
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1Satisfy the necessary requirements to pass through (customs)
      ‘I can help her to clear customs quickly’
      • ‘He stated that the diamonds were all legitimate and were being cleared through the Customs and the Belgian diamond centre.’
      • ‘The vehicle may be shipped to Montserrat and cleared from Customs within one year prior to or following the shipment of the family's total personal effects.’
      • ‘I handed in my luggage at the counter, had my passport checked, was cleared by a customs officer and entered the restricted area.’
      • ‘Of course, with no luggage I quickly cleared customs.’
      • ‘Will I have to pay any special duties or fines before being cleared by customs at the airport?’
      • ‘When we have been cleared by Canadian customs we will be billeted and taken to church halls and primary schools in school buses.’
    2. 5.2(with reference to a cheque) pass through a clearing house so that the money goes into the payee's account.
      [no object] ‘there were more than sufficient funds in the account for both cheques to clear’
      [with object] ‘the cheque could not be cleared until Monday’
      • ‘By the time he sent a cheque and it was cleared three days later, the sum owed was different.’
      • ‘He was arrested in the bank as he waited for the cheque to be cleared.’
      • ‘After receiving the cheque, he paid it into his branch, on June 28, and went back three days later to ask the cashier if the cheque had been cleared.’
      • ‘This will not actually be cleared for interest purposes until the next day - Wednesday.’
      • ‘The worst accounts take up to ten days to clear cheques for interest purposes!’
  • 6[with object] Earn or gain (an amount of money) as a net profit.

    ‘I would hope to clear £50,000 profit from each match’
    • ‘The company cleared $188 million in profits in the last two years.’
    net, make a profit of, realize a profit of, take home, pocket
    View synonyms


  • clear the air

    • 1Make the air less humid.

      ‘storms were supposed to clear the air’
      • ‘Although the rain makes a pleasant change from the heat of the weekend, it hasn't cleared the air.’
      1. 1.1Defuse an angry or tense situation by frank discussion.
        ‘it's time a few things were said to clear the air’
        • ‘Essentially it's a storm in a tea cup but we're really just clearing the air.’
        • ‘He accepted the progress report hasn't been discussed and offered to attend a special meeting to clear the air over the 100 or so outstanding issues.’
        • ‘By acknowledging that you may have made a mistake or hurt someone else, you can help clear the air, and that will reduce your stress level.’
        • ‘It also clears the air of all the negatism that had surrounded the team over the winter and enables everyone concerned to look forward to brighter days.’
        • ‘It's a good way of clearing the air and moving forward.’
        • ‘I now think that it is essential that the Conservative Party in Parliament clears the air and determines once and for all who we want to lead the party into that election.’
        • ‘As the department was clearing the air yesterday, parents warned teachers that they will not stand idly by and watch their children's education being disrupted for another year.’
        • ‘‘I don't think it would necessarily clear the air because I don't think the air needs to be cleared,’ he said.’
        • ‘The discussions cleared the air and as a parliamentary party we need to make it clear that we won't tolerate people briefing behind the scenes.’
        • ‘We agreed to facilitate a public meeting in order to get discussion going, and so hope to clear the air.’
        restore harmony, make peace, reconcile differences
        pour oil on troubled waters
        View synonyms
  • (as) clear as a bell

  • (as) clear as day

    • Very easy to see or understand.

      ‘I saw him clear as day’
      ‘the reason for Peter's evasiveness was suddenly as clear as day’
      • ‘It is there clear as day, on public record, as said by the Prime Minister.’
      • ‘Normally I'm aware I'm dreaming due to the subtle layer of surreality but this one was clear as day (though I can't remember any of it now, of course).’
      • ‘I didn't have a clue what it was and then I saw the Pope's face, clear as day.’
      • ‘The trophy for that triumph is clear as day with this bunch.’
      • ‘Out of the blue, like a movie, these images appear in front of me, clear as day.’
      • ‘They're virtually invisible to everyone else, but I see them clear as day.’
      • ‘Looking around, she noticed she could see clear as day.’
      • ‘But when you actually saw the written evidence it was as clear as day.’
      • ‘I loved him, I said it clear as day to him and he understood that.’
      • ‘She recognized her own handwriting as clear as day on the back of the picture as he flipped it around.’
      obvious, evident, plain, apparent, crystal clear, as clear as crystal, transparent
      View synonyms
  • (as) clear as mud

    • informal Not at all easy to understand.

      ‘what the statement really means is still as clear as mud’
      • ‘As I suspected, all is clear as mud at this point.’
      • ‘On the flip side, some parts of the plot that aren't explained still seem to be vital to the story, so several chapters are clear as mud.’
      • ‘The strangely murky waters of the UK's broadband market were stirred up once again last week, making things clear as mud, as usual.’
      • ‘The next steps are clear as mud.’
      • ‘It was just clear as mud to me, and I was hoping you could help me with it later on.’
      obscure, unclear, dense, uncertain, indeterminate, mysterious, puzzling, perplexing, baffling, mystifying, confusing, enigmatic, inexplicable, unexplained, concealed, hidden, unfathomable, incomprehensible, impenetrable, vague, ambiguous, delphic, indefinite, indistinct, hazy, foggy, nebulous, equivocal, doubtful, dubious, oblique, elliptical, oracular, cryptic, deep, abstruse, recondite, arcane, esoteric, recherché
      View synonyms
  • clear the decks

    • Prepare for an event or course of action by dealing with anything that might hinder progress.

      ‘the company's sale of Australian investments cleared the decks for expansion in the UK’
      • ‘The Administration is clearing the decks for the second term.’
      • ‘For the last year he's been clearing the decks of any issue that might have caused a problem when the campaign proper began.’
      • ‘It was always spelt out to me that I would have to trim the wage bill and the playing staff and there has been quite a bit of clearing the decks.’
      • ‘It's about clearing the decks for the quickest possible election date of August 7.’
      • ‘The contenders are clearing the decks and making ready to do battle.’
      • ‘This is a government that is clearing the decks.’
      • ‘He is to abandon two central planks of the government's crime legislation as he clears the decks before announcing the start of the general election campaign, expected in the next two days.’
      • ‘Your Honours, may I clear the decks so far as the facts which of course are not as factual inquiry before this Court but without which we cannot win.’
      • ‘But it was a case of clearing the decks, then having a look at what was left, and trying to build from there.’
      • ‘‘Obviously now things have blown and people are clearing the decks and I just think anyone who's got anything to say should say it now,’ she said.’
  • clear one's lines

    • Make a kick sending the ball well upfield from near one's own goal line.

      ‘nowadays wings must be able to clear their lines with all the authority of a fullback’
      • ‘The home team were able to clear their lines in defence, and expose our back three from the middle of the field to make large gains of territory.’
      • ‘The strong wind allowed them to clear their lines by kicking upfield.’
      • ‘The basic principal of a defence must be to clear their lines and give decent ball to their comrades out field.’
      • ‘The opening 10 minutes saw Redhill take the game to their hosts, who were forced to resort to clearing their lines by kicking the ball out of play.’
      • ‘They were resorting to using aerial balls to clear their lines.’
  • clear the name of

    • Show to be innocent.

      ‘the spokesman released a statement attempting to clear his client's name’
      • ‘I wish to encourage you in your efforts to get at the real facts in this case and help clear the name of a very fine, upstanding and humanitarian man.’
      • ‘They are now working together as private detectives trying to clear the name of a handyman accused of stealing secret documents from the home of a rich family.’
      • ‘He decided to confess to the scam to help clear the name of another driving instructor and school teacher who is being investigated by police.’
      • ‘A book is to be written which it is hoped will clear the name of a player thought to be involved in one of football's biggest scams.’
      • ‘But families still fight for years to clear the name of loved ones who were put to death.’
      • ‘And the findings will try to clear the name of the warship's commander whose career was ruined by a subsequent court martial.’
      • ‘For 13 years she has campaigned to clear the name of her grandfather who was shot for cowardice during the First World War.’
      • ‘Legalization will not only make it safer for users but it will clear the name of the estimated 600,000 Canadians who have been convicted of simple cannabis possession.’
      • ‘A Manchester lawyer fighting to clear the name of a convicted murderer is hoping a breakthrough could be just around the corner.’
      • ‘He is now working to clear the name of a bus driver with multiple crashes to his name - all caused by someone else.’
  • clear the table

    • Remove dishes and cutlery from a table after a meal.

      ‘afterwards, he cleared the table and washed up’
      • ‘Regular staff prepare the food, a semi-permanent crew sets and clears the tables.’
      • ‘I cleared the table, keeping my disappointment at bay.’
      • ‘It had become second nature for me to clear the table for Mrs. Yates.’
      • ‘Their plates were empty and Susan set about clearing the table.’
      • ‘She broke their gaze and went back to work on clearing the table.’
      • ‘Nobody will ask you to clear the table once you are finished.’
      • ‘A small Thai girl who completely cleared the table with ruthless efficiency did not go unnoticed.’
      • ‘Nurse Thomas smiled shyly as she moved quickly around the room, clearing the tables for the tea trays.’
      • ‘In his haste to clear the table, he'd clumsily knocked most of the papers onto the floor.’
      • ‘He hailed them and hurried over to chat for a few minutes while Max cleared the tables.’
  • clear one's throat

    • Cough slightly so as to speak more clearly, attract attention, or to express hesitancy before saying something awkward.

      ‘he cleared his throat and spoke loudly’
      ‘Sarah had to clear her throat before answering’
      • ‘Josh just shook his head before clearing his throat to get some attention again.’
      • ‘And then I heard the sound of someone clearing their throat to get my attention.’
      • ‘Some flip through their programs, interested in educating themselves about the history of the piece to be performed, others reapply lipstick, and a gruff old man clears his throat before turning to speak to his formidable looking wife.’
      • ‘I coughed, partly to clear my throat, partly to demand full attention.’
      • ‘He coughed once, clearing his throat as the three turned and looked at him.’
      • ‘Coach let us sulk for a minute or two, until finally clearing his throat, drawing our attention back to him.’
      • ‘The sculpture emits a series of noises: the artist coughing, sniffling, clearing his throat, yawning audibly, sighing.’
      • ‘Matt awkwardly clears his throat and begins to speak.’
      • ‘I laughed and gave him a peck on the lips again before we heard someone clearing their throat to gain our attention.’
      • ‘He was suffering from a heavy cold which caused him to sniffle, blow his nose, cough and clear his throat throughout his 135-minute performance.’
  • clear the way

    • Remove an obstacle or hindrance to allow progress.

      ‘the ruling could be enough to clear the way for impeachment proceedings’
      [in imperative] ‘Stand back, there! Clear the way!’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the hacksaw lashed out at anything that stood in its path, clearing the way just enough to create forward progress.’
      • ‘Mindful of colleges' concerns, the Internal Revenue Service put off implementing these requirements, and the congressional action now clears the way to remove the roles.’
      • ‘The surprise move clears the way for closing arguments, expected to begin as early as Wednesday.’
      • ‘I also hope that this will now clear the way for speedy progress on the initiative to find a suitable home for a memorial to the Women of the Second World War.’
      • ‘The move cleared the way for a new player to get involved.’
      • ‘We are there to breach obstacles and clear the way for the fighting troops.’
      • ‘The appeals board has attached just five minor conditions to planning for the €630 million route, clearing the way for diggers to move in on site in spring of 2007.’
      • ‘The move clears the way for the EU to apply the tariffs later this year if talks with the US fail to yield a compromise solution.’
      • ‘He said on Radio 4 that he had pleaded guilty to the disciplinary charges in ‘a tactical move’ to clear the way for his bid to become mayor.’
      • ‘The union is trying to sell its latest deal by promising that the pay entrenchment clause will be removed, clearing the way for further secondary pay increases.’
      move aside, clear the way, make a space, make room, stand back
      View synonyms
  • in clear

    • Not in code.

      ‘the Russian staff practice of sending radio messages and orders in clear’
      • ‘At Army Group level the Russians were using simple codes, but lower formations sent radio signals in clear.’
  • in the clear

    • 1No longer in danger or under suspicion.

      ‘the information put her in the clear’
      • ‘Then I was in the clear, free from any desire to smoke.’
      • ‘He says this now means the rest of the team is in the clear.’
      • ‘But now I've also been in the team, I am in the team, I've got those results and yeah, I'm in the clear.’
      • ‘So, it's still not in the clear, by any stretch of the imagination.’
      • ‘The contract I signed initially didn't say anything past the probation period, so I was in the clear to resign without notice.’
      • ‘Well, I wouldn't say they're in the clear yet, but it's certainly died down a bit.’
      • ‘So, thinking I was in the clear, I went about my business, free-wheeling and fancy-free the whole time.’
      • ‘Just because someone in a bad spot is forced to sign a legal disclaimer, that doesn't mean the people making the decisions are in the clear morally.’
      • ‘But we also saw the light and knew that by Thursday we would be in the clear.’
      • ‘You had a fleeting thought about getting caught when you made your plans three weeks ago, but you figured you were in the clear.’
      completely, totally, utterly, entirely, absolutely, thoroughly, wholly, through and through, one hundred per cent, lock, stock, and barrel
      View synonyms
    • 2With nothing to hinder one in achieving something.

      ‘a cross from O'Neill left Hughes in the clear with not even the goalkeeper to beat’
      • ‘Just before the half hour, a inocuous-looking pass deceived Aberdeen's central defence, and he was in the clear.’
      • ‘Their only genuine chance of the half came on 34 minutes when Lee Nogan seized on a bad pass, drew a Cheltenham defender and released Michael Proctor in the clear.’
      • ‘Ten minutes later and Parkin was put in the clear by Lee Bullock.’
      • ‘The same applies for the Hearts match, so it looks like I'm in the clear.’
      • ‘I think my family always knew I was a fighter and would battle it all the way, but there was still a look of surprise on their faces when I said I was in the clear.’
      • ‘The manoeuvre saw him finally in the clear and he finished like the proverbial express train, but alas it was all too late, and he had to settle for fourth place.’
      • ‘Another good sweeping move again put Cooke in the clear.’
      • ‘Another fine chance went begging midway through the half when he cleverly put him in the clear, but for once the ace marksman's finishing let him down.’
      • ‘Johansson found himself in the clear in the 67th minute but lofted his effort over the top after Bartlett had played the ball across the face of the area.’
      • ‘He might think he's in the clear now but that's not his real trouble.’
      innocent, blameless, free from guilt, free from blame, not to blame, without fault, above reproach, beyond criticism, above suspicion, in the clear, uncensurable, unimpeachable, irreproachable, faultless, sinless, spotless, stainless, immaculate, unsullied, uncorrupted, undefiled, untainted, unblemished, untarnished, impeccable
      View synonyms
  • out of a clear sky

    • As a complete surprise.

      ‘his moods blew up suddenly out of a clear sky’
      • ‘When angered, people burn, things break and fly around, lightning may strike out of a clear sky.’
      • ‘I've heard of lightning coming out of a clear sky.’
      • ‘Aware that such social tornadoes can twist towards them out of a clear sky, governments have learned to be cautious.’
      • ‘However, the acts did not come out of a clear sky.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • clear off (or out)

    • [usually in imperative]Go away.

      ‘‘Clear off!’ he yelled’
      • ‘He's had two children by her and then in 2002 he clears off.’
      go away, get out, leave
      be off with you!, shoo!, make yourself scarce!, on your way!
      beat it, push off, clear out, shove off, scram, scoot, skedaddle, buzz off
      hop it, sling your hook
      rack off
      bug off, take a hike
      voetsak, hamba
      piss off, bugger off
      View synonyms
  • clear something out

    • Remove the contents from something so as to tidy it or free it for alternative use.

      ‘they told her to clear out her desk by the next day’
      • ‘All flower beds have been cleared out, trees have been planted, shrubs have been pruned and a general clean-up is takin place around the village.’
      • ‘I'm afraid you'll have to clear your desk out by the end of the day.’
      • ‘Come January, the shops are cleared out overnight.’
      • ‘This week we are forced to raise further questions after it emerged that the museum at the hotel has been cleared out.’
      • ‘In addition, the basement of the dorm was cleared out to provide storage and operating space for the college outdoor club.’
      • ‘Well, the pond has been cleared out, filled with soil and now awaits planting as a bog garden.’
      • ‘We spent the first three months just clearing it out.’
      • ‘Hospital and nursing home patients were cleared out and truckloads of water, ice and ready-made meals and rescue and medical teams were put on standby.’
      • ‘It read: ‘To the person who clears the house out.’’
      • ‘When the house was cleared out, Dad took the tools home.’
  • clear up

    • 1(of an illness or other medical condition) become cured.

      ‘all my health problems cleared up’
      • ‘They offer to change your life by clearing up chronic conditions, lifting depressions, boosting your immune system and making you happy as well as healthy.’
      • ‘Viral conjunctivitis does not need specific medical treatment and will clear up on its own in two to three weeks.’
      • ‘Within a short while, however, the mild irritating condition completely cleared up leaving my vision clearer and brighter than before.’
      • ‘After taking medication, Sarah's condition appeared to clear up.’
      • ‘In most cases, gastroenteritis is a mild illness caused by a viral infection and clears up without the need for medical treatment.’
      • ‘A standard vegetable-garden fungicide seems to cure it (but maybe the problem would clear up on its own).’
      • ‘If the condition clears up quickly, ensure that the child avoids strenuous exertion for at least a week afterwards.’
      • ‘The condition usually clears up within 7 to 14 days.’
      • ‘These problems usually clear up with appropriate medical care, although some may require counseling.’
      • ‘Neither a condition to be cleared up nor a means to be employed, depression is and always will be a constitutive part of who she is.’
    • 2(of the weather) become brighter.

      ‘I said I would fix the roof when the weather clears up’
      • ‘But, there's a small bookstore nearby that we might visit until the weather clears up.’
      • ‘When the weather clears up I'll be the one to take you on a tour of our fair city!’
      • ‘But the weather is expected to clear up on Sunday, they said.’
      • ‘The weather cleared up later in the day and the sunset seemed to promise better things for the morrow.’
      • ‘Of course, the weather soon cleared up again and July started nicely.’
      • ‘The weather has cleared up a lot and it's now sunny, but still windy.’
      • ‘By the time we got down there the weather had cleared up a bit and the views looking down the valleys were fabulous.’
      • ‘If the weather clears up a little we might even go camping.’
      • ‘For anyone living outside the UK a heatwave means that the weather has cleared up a bit and there's no need for a coat.’
      • ‘The day started out rainy and grey but the weather managed to clear up nicely, so much so that I forgot to put on sunscreen and I got myself burned on my arms pretty badly.’
      lighten, become light, light up, break, clear up, become bright, become brighter, become lighter, become fine, become sunny
      View synonyms
      1. 2.1(of rain) stop.
        ‘the drizzle looked unlikely to clear up’
        • ‘There didn't seem to be quite a big a rush at first this year, but they began to pack in as the day went on, when the rain cleared up.’
        • ‘The rain's cleared up; today's just grey but the air's wet.’
        • ‘The rain had cleared up, reduced to the slightest drizzle, and it was getting really dark.’
        • ‘I'm looking forward to some good, old fashioned, outdoor summer fun - that is, providing all this rain over here clears up.’
        • ‘The rain even cleared up by the time we got to the registry office which meant we could take photos outside.’
        • ‘And after three days of heavy rain, it cleared up minutes before the ceremony.’
        • ‘Yeah, unless it clears up but the rain is still coming down hard.’
        • ‘I sat down with her a couple of days later - in the shade of a huge tree after the rain had cleared up - to talk with her about her life, her politics, and her writing.’
        • ‘The rain had cleared up, and all he could see were stars, stretching into unending vastness.’
        • ‘But the short, heavy bursts of rain will clear up fairly quickly the following day with a return the warm sunshine and showery weather the area has been experiencing for the past few days.’
  • clear something up

    • 1Tidy something up by removing rubbish or other unwanted items.

      ‘Thomas decided to clear up his cottage’
      ‘he asked the youths to clear up their litter’
      ‘I keep meaning to come down here and clear up’
      • ‘Archaeologists clear up and tidy the remains of the past.’
      • ‘A new volunteer clean-up team has vowed to clear up litter hotspots.’
      • ‘Residents and traders are responsible for clearing up afterwards and people have commented that the street is cleaner in the morning.’
      • ‘An obsessively tidy man, he clears up after Elizabeth cooks.’
      • ‘Mr Messy was very messy and asked Mr Clean and Mr Tidy to clear up his house.’
      • ‘‘The council needs to do something about it, and I don't just mean clearing it up and moving the youths on,’ he said.’
      • ‘They have responsibilities for clearing up and keeping areas clean.’
      • ‘Rather than spend their time hanging around on street corners, they can be found scouring their estates for litter, clearing up play areas and planting bulbs.’
      • ‘They also want the council to clear up the area, and remove abandoned cars.’
      • ‘A field on the borders of Southend and Rochford has become a dangerous rubbish tip and should be cleared up immediately, a councillor said.’
      empty, empty out, void, make vacant
      tidy, tidy up, put in order, straighten up, clean up, put to rights, make shipshape, spruce up
      View synonyms
    • 2Solve or explain something.

      ‘he wanted to clear up some misconceptions’
      • ‘I'm not necessarily telling you this to scare you or something, but I figured this could clear some things up.’
      • ‘I quickly cleared up the confusion with a follow up text to " disregard".’
      • ‘Unless misconceptions were cleared up here at the very beginning, they were likely to reinforce already existing prejudices.’
      • ‘The first is that I've been extremely busy at work trying to clear some things up before my three week winter break, which starts on Friday.’
      • ‘He figured the handout being passed around would clear it up a bit.’
      • ‘OK, let's clear up what's really going on here.’
      • ‘She could clear it up tomorrow by coming into the House and answering the questions.’
      • ‘And if that doesn't clear up any remaining confusion, I'm sorry.’
      • ‘Tim briefly explained what Grandpa had told to him, hopefully clearing things up.’
      • ‘I want to clear something up so we get it straight.’
      solve, resolve, straighten out, find an answer to, find the answer to, answer, find the key to, decipher, break, get to the bottom of, make head or tail of, piece together, explain, expound
      View synonyms
    • 3Cure an illness or other medical condition.

      ‘folk customs prescribed sage tea to clear up measles’
      • ‘If this happens, a course of antibiotics can be prescribed and this will usually clear it up quickly.’
      • ‘Well, never mind, go to the clinic and they'll prescribe something to clear it up.’
      • ‘Garlic helps clear a cold sore up much faster than any other remedy I've tried.’
      • ‘If your teenager has bad acne, your GP can prescribe medication to help clear it up.’
      • ‘Most eye infections can be cleared up with antibiotics but even with treatment there is a risk of damage to the cornea, the transparent outer layer at the front of the eye.’
      • ‘Luckily, a German pharmacist understood my sign language and sold me a miracle cure that cleared it up in a few days.’
      • ‘The ailment becomes the cure and the symptoms are cleared up not by their actual remedy, but by our ignorant submission or our willful hypnosis to another glossy spin and a catchy jingle.’
      • ‘They do sell medication for the tank and you may be able to clear it up if you treat the tank at the first sign of trouble.’
      • ‘Tablets can be taken during the first outbreak to ease symptoms and help clear it up.’
      • ‘The advice giver said that ‘most people don't know’ that it can be cleared up quickly with antibiotics.’


Middle English: from Old French cler, from Latin clarus.