Definition of clean in English:

clean

adjective

  • 1Free from dirt, marks, or stains.

    ‘the room was spotlessly clean’
    ‘keep the wound clean’
    • ‘The stick will come out perfectly clean if the cake is cooked.’
    • ‘Be sure the bottom of the tub is clean and free of any soap residue.’
    • ‘Wrap the burned area with a dry, sterile dressing or a clean cloth.’
    • ‘The architecture sometimes feels a bit stark and soulless, but it's clean and dust free.’
    • ‘Blot the stain with a clean cloth, and then pour enough club soda on the stain to saturate the fabric.’
    • ‘The transfer is very clean, but the cinematography is average '70s horror.’
    • ‘Sometimes a brand new blank videotape of high quality will scrub the head chips clean.’
    • ‘The water ran down her face and left a clean streak through the dirt and grime on her.’
    • ‘In this job you can choose which car is brought to your house on a Monday morning, fully insured, brimful with free petrol and spotlessly clean.’
    • ‘Let it sit for 3 minutes and blot with a clean cloth or tissue.’
    • ‘Everyone was polite to a fault, and the place was spotlessly clean.’
    • ‘As an adult she kept her homes immaculately clean, tidying, changing beds and scrubbing surfaces every day.’
    • ‘Make certain your barrel is clean and free of oil or dirt.’
    • ‘There was dirt under the usually clean fingernails.’
    • ‘The town centre is so clean, free of traffic, filled with hanging baskets.’
    • ‘The source print seems to have been quite clean and free of dirt and damage, resulting in likely the best transfer you'll ever see.’
    • ‘And every room was spotlessly clean, without odour or any sort of smell.’
    • ‘The film is surprisingly clean and free of dirt or scratches, and colors are vibrant and rich.’
    • ‘Strain through clean, sterile muslin cloth and then drip through coffee filter paper.’
    • ‘Plastic should be reasonably clean and free of debris, such as twine and netting.’
    washed, scrubbed, cleansed, cleaned, polished
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Having been washed since last worn or used.
      ‘a clean blouse’
      • ‘Upon being hired, each janitor was given one shirt to wear at work, often a used one, and was responsible for washing and keeping it clean.’
      • ‘They sat on the edge of the low shelf which served as a bench, scrubbed and washed and dressed in clean tunics.’
      • ‘She opened a drawer of the vanity, finding inside clean rags to wash her face with.’
      • ‘Washed and with clean clothes and a hot hotel meal inside me, I felt like a new person.’
      • ‘I rinse my hair and grab a clean towel from a nearby towel rack.’
      • ‘The writer was looking refreshed in a clean blouse and slacks.’
      • ‘The 18th-century mind preferred homely dirt and the occasional clean shirt to the terrors of cold water or the deep ocean.’
      • ‘I thought I'd keep it on while I ate thereby saving myself some time before work - time which is usually spent putting on a clean top/blouse.’
      • ‘But once you emerged from the darkness of the cellar with a tub of clean wash and started hanging on the line, this was for all the world to see.’
      • ‘Drain the parsley, wrap in a clean tea towel and gently squeeze dry.’
      • ‘When I replace the clean cutlery after washing up, there's always some already there to give me clues about where stuff lives.’
      • ‘You take the clean clothes, the soft-soled shoes and the paper with the details of the interview.’
      • ‘Will kicked off his boots and changed to something clean and washed his face.’
      • ‘Fill your sink with suds, mop away then rinse with a clean towel.’
      • ‘When she came over to the bed she saw that her clothes were not only neatly folded, but they were washed and clean as well.’
      • ‘He never tried to pull her hair or toss her skirt over her head or get dirt on her nice clean clothes.’
      • ‘She took out her clean uniform, washed and pressed, and packed it in her grey backpack.’
    2. 1.2[attributive] (of paper) not yet marked by writing or drawing.
      ‘he copied the directions onto a clean sheet of paper’
      • ‘When he wiped his hand on a clean piece of paper, the image of Africa that appeared inspired his publisher to turn the hand into a series of lithographs.’
      • ‘A wastebasket sat next to a stack of clean paper on the floor.’
      • ‘I have a clean, beautiful piece of writing paper sitting in front of me and I intend to write only beautiful things about myself on it.’
      • ‘The biggest thing that we do differently is that we don't start from a totally clean sheet of paper.’
      • ‘A small printer nearest her computer began to absorb some of the clean white paper.’
      • ‘Shoving books onto the floor, I finally found a clean piece of paper and a sharpened pencil.’
      • ‘It absorbs the color from the inks it blends, but is quickly cleaned with a couple of swipes on clean paper.’
      • ‘I grabbed it and flipped through the pages of poetry and drawings till I found a clean page.’
      • ‘I shall start over on a clean piece of paper when I have my proper brushes but I enjoyed doing this one immensely.’
      • ‘I took out a clean piece of paper and a black pen.’
      • ‘It has page 108 all to itself, and all that white space around it a terrible waste, in some cultures, of clean white paper.’
      • ‘Then he fumbled for a clean piece of paper and began his record - first a list of species, then a tally of their numbers.’
      • ‘While I was re-writing it onto a clean piece of paper my dad came barging into my room.’
      • ‘Start with a clean piece of paper there.’
      • ‘When a pleasing arrangement is found, the pieces are glued in place onto a clean white paper.’
      • ‘He packs plants in cardboard boxes lined with clean paper and occasionally uses icepacks.’
      • ‘I stared at the notebook that was opened to a clean white sheet of paper on my pillow.’
      • ‘Until then, Scandinavian pine forests will continue to supply our demands for clean white office paper.’
      blank, empty, bare, clear, plain, white
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 (of a person) attentive to personal hygiene.
      ‘by nature he was clean and neat’
      • ‘By these means, the virtuous mother could mold an unspoiled, respectful, neat, and clean child.’
      • ‘And no matter how sweet and educated and clean and smart she appears, she may be at risk and not know it.’
      • ‘One of the men, relatively clean and civilized, approached us.’
      • ‘Henry was fastidiously clean by the standards of the time.’
      • ‘They are by nature fastidiously clean and typically free from body odour and parasites.’
      • ‘Our girls are clean and healthy.’
      • ‘Her view, when he started school a year ago, was that he was small for his age and not very clean.’
      • ‘People are far more likely to pick up happy-looking, clean people than dirty, hidden ones.’
    4. 1.4 Free from pollutants or unpleasant substances.
      ‘we will create a cleaner, safer environment’
      • ‘Wet ears were washed, first with clean water, then with disinfectant solution.’
      • ‘Adequate quantities of relatively clean water are preferable to small amounts of high quality water.’
      • ‘Have bowls of clean snow ready (or use a snowbank close to the house).’
      • ‘There is the washdown to do which basically means that every bit of kit has to be washed with clean water to stop the salt eating away at it.’
      • ‘If you do get fresh concrete on your skin, wash it off with clean water.’
      • ‘As a non-smoker my lungs are used to relatively clean air.’
      • ‘I hit the earth with a dull thud, and for a while I just lay there, savoring the feel of real, clean dirt.’
      • ‘A large, yet relatively clean city, it carried a certain benevolence that took it a step above its more unsavory neighbors.’
      • ‘Despite being labelled as a fast growing city, the average man on the street expects that the city would be clean and free from pollution.’
      • ‘Keep food under hygienic conditions and thoroughly wash uncooked vegetables in clean water.’
      • ‘Sandanski has the lowest annual rainfall in Bulgaria and its air is remarkably clean and pollution-free.’
      • ‘It is environment friendly, modular, silent, needs no fuel, there are no emissions or pollution; it is clean.’
      • ‘Now fish can be found in the relatively clean water.’
      • ‘It has been observed that during the rainy season, most water sources become polluted and clean water is hard to find.’
      • ‘Let us wish for a beautiful and clean earth without pollution in the future.’
      • ‘Helping the weevils was the relatively clean water flowing into the dam.’
      • ‘Here, we have peace and quiet, still nights, and clean air.’
      • ‘A worker who operates in a clean, safe and pollution-free atmosphere will certainly be happy.’
      • ‘This mingling of polluted and clean air is particularly evident from January to April of each year during the winter monsoon.’
      • ‘Clean air, quiet streets and the rosy climate are good for children.’
      • ‘The water is one degree Celsius, but at least the normally polluted lake is clean enough to swim in today.’
      • ‘By contrast, some countries with relatively clean air, such as Scotland and New Zealand, demonstrated high rates of allergic diseases.’
      • ‘Thanks to its quiet roads, clean air and cheap housing, it is now claiming to be the fastest growing town in Europe.’
      • ‘In the marketplace, who would think to ask whether these fish came from a clean or a polluted river like this one?’
      pure, clear, fresh, crisp, refreshing
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5 Relating to a diet consisting of unprocessed, unrefined, and nutrient-rich food, typically eaten as small meals throughout the day.
      ‘I'm amazed at how much energy clean eating gives me’
      ‘you have to eat clean foods to change your physique’
    6. 1.6 Free from or producing relatively little radioactive contamination.
    7. 1.7 (of timber) free from knots.
  • 2Morally uncontaminated; pure; innocent.

    ‘clean living’
    • ‘We need to be morally upright, like chaste virgins before God, pure and clean.’
    • ‘It is by self discipline and clean moral life that man can unveil the divine qualities in his personality.’
    • ‘Thirdly, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses our consciences, so that we come before God in the happy awareness of being truly clean in his sight.’
    • ‘‘I strongly reject the implicit suggestion that their party is morally clean,’ he said.’
    • ‘And people enjoy having that emotion because it's a very clean and pure emotion.’
    • ‘The people of the island were clothed in plain linen with a few pockets, and white dresses that looked innocent and clean.’
    • ‘Our center will provide a way for them to learn the art of clean, wholesome living and social responsibility.’
    • ‘Praise the Lord the sun has come to wash us clean.’
    • ‘She looked so innocent, so clean that it was impossible to believe this creature evil.’
    • ‘Absolved of our sins, we are once more made as clean as the day of our baptism.’
    • ‘But this must be done in sincerity, with the desire to be spiritually clean and pure.’
    • ‘Now that I'm clean as a penny whistle, what else would I do for fun?’
    • ‘Other advice: not to quarrel; to live a clean, holy life; to do good; to share with others.’
    • ‘I have forgotten what it feels like to feel clean and innocent, and I long to feel it, I long for my salad days, I long for childhood.’
    • ‘Pain and regret cannot scrub me clean, no matter how much I wish it.’
    • ‘I enjoyed communion, I told him, but I never felt like I was good enough, pure enough, clean enough to have it.’
    innocent, guiltless, blameless, clear, in the clear, not to blame, guilt-free, crime-free, above suspicion, unimpeachable, irreproachable
    virtuous, good, upright, upstanding
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Not sexually offensive or obscene.
      ‘it's all good clean fun’
      ‘even when clean, his verses are very funny’
      • ‘It's about time we resurrect the good clean fun in computer games because I am really tired of the blood and gore of 21 st-century games.’
      • ‘The show promises to transport the audience to an era when humour meant good clean fun.’
      • ‘Never has such potentially raunchy role-playing seemed like such good clean fun.’
      • ‘It was all good clean fun and a day many of the little people will cherish long after their Santa days.’
      • ‘They always record a clean version or else dub it out in the mix.’
      • ‘It's good clean fun for the kids and well worth a rental.’
      • ‘For good clean family fun, you just can't top it.’
    2. 2.2 Showing or having no record of offenses or crimes.
      ‘a clean driving license is essential for the job’
      • ‘Despite rumors here and there, she has a clean record.’
      • ‘But I've heard that I should check my credit report to make sure my record is clean.’
      • ‘Legal considerations such as the fact that the culprit has a clean record should not be used as mitigating factors, she contended.’
      • ‘Only those with clean records must be sponsored by the recruiting agencies.’
      • ‘The key is to build a backend that is capable of transaction processing as well as maintaining a clean record on necessary compliances.’
      • ‘With a clean credit record once again, I hope you will be able to arrange a loan.’
      • ‘Let's face it, when the first day of camp is drawing near, there can be a tendency to hire anyone with a clean record that seems reasonable.’
      • ‘It takes anywhere from five to 20 months to get a pardon and one must wait three years with a clean record before applying.’
      • ‘In the interview, the guy never even asked to see my driver's license, or if I had a clean record.’
      • ‘Edmonton offers great insurance rates for anyone who's been driving for years, has held insurance for the same amount of time, and has a clean record.’
      • ‘They should also have a clean record with regard to offences such as murder, rape, robbery, fraud, arson and kidnapping.’
      • ‘All successful applicants were police-checked and have a clean record.’
      • ‘For those who still might think I'm a serial killer or guilty of other crimes, here is the proof I have a clean record.’
      • ‘He had never had an accident before and had previously had a completely clean driving record.’
      • ‘He was known to Dutch police but had a clean record there.’
      • ‘He also has a full clean driver's licence with no endorsements.’
      • ‘Critics of the previous system also point out that in terms of escaping prisoners, the state escort service had far from a clean record.’
      • ‘She noted that the young man was unemployed and had a clean record.’
      • ‘But he said he had taken her age and previous clean record into account and imposed the community sentence.’
      • ‘I really need a clean credit record because I will be moving house again shortly.’
    3. 2.3 Played or done according to the rules.
      ‘it was a good clean fight’
      • ‘This game is what cup games are all about: spirit, fight, clean football and a little bit of heroism to round it all off.’
      • ‘But his wife sent back the fish to avoid rumours, and she wrote advising him to be an honest and clean official.’
      • ‘Market economics and the rule of law demand clean government.’
      • ‘He has a relatively clean image, but there are concerns about his policies toward China and whether he can find enough capable people for his cabinet.’
      • ‘Both parties walk away with a clean reputation and no animus toward the other.’
      • ‘From the start, his clean image was substantially soiled because of a real estate speculation case his elder brother was involved in.’
      • ‘The body was set up by large sports centres and is intended to establish horse racing in Israel with an organised set of rules and a clean public image.’
      • ‘We live in a clinically clean society with rules and regulations.’
      • ‘This kind of mentality has led many previously clean officials to try their luck before their retirement.’
      • ‘I would also like to thank the associations for fighting a clean campaign in this constituency.’
      • ‘However, he still believes that corruption can be curbed by setting up a clean system and strict rules.’
      • ‘Put the same young officer in a clean station, and there's a very good chance he'll turn out to be an honest cop.’
      • ‘True to the formalities of leadership races, all the candidates stated they want a clean fight.’
      • ‘There are a number of them who are pure and clean, and are keen to keep the pride of being a police officer.’
      • ‘Notwithstanding the fact that we are still a young democracy, the country can score more marks by politicians running clean campaigns.’
      • ‘On the final whistle, in this tight and physically hard fought, but clean game, both sides had to be content with a share of the points.’
      • ‘Anyone who wants to enter politics must now show that they are clean and that they have concrete and detailed ideas about improving people's lives.’
      • ‘We mostly adopted trade sales to maximize revenues, and they were generally clean, despite occasional slip ups.’
      • ‘Buyers should ensure that the registration and tax papers are in order and the status of ownership is clean.’
      • ‘They were clean, capable and were supported by the people.’
      fair, honest, sporting, sportsmanlike, just, upright, law-abiding, chivalrous, honourable, according to the rules, according to hoyle
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4informal [predicative] Not possessing or containing anything illegal, especially drugs or stolen goods.
      ‘I searched him and his luggage, and he was clean’
      • ‘The tall guy was clean, and they told him to board along with the rest of the passengers and we had a safe enjoyable flight.’
    5. 2.5informal [predicative] (of a person) not taking or having taken drugs or alcohol.
      • ‘In the future all I hope is that I stay off drugs and keep clean, get my children back, get my own house and a good job.’
      • ‘Say the parents are clean and at least one of them is employed, but the couple still can't find affordable housing.’
      • ‘Although I have been clean for seven years now, the craving still remains.’
      • ‘He was clean for two years after leaving jail - where he'd spent 12 years and gained a heroin habit.’
      • ‘My dad used to do drugs, but he has been clean for four years.’
      • ‘Later, after his mother was clean, she warned Jim ceaselessly about the dangers of drugs, warnings that he heeded.’
      • ‘In the old days, many people thought, if you can survive five years, you're clean.’
      • ‘I had taken someone for quite a lot of money and these are things I've got to deal with today because I'm clean.’
      • ‘I was clean for eight long years, before falling off last year while in Germany.’
      • ‘Smith said the substance can be used to make drug tests come up clean and that he was taking it to his cousin.’
      • ‘I'm going to meetings every day and learning that when I'm clean, I'm a winner.’
      • ‘Nearly 78 per cent of the respondents claimed that they were not smokers, not on alcohol or drugs - a clean set.’
      • ‘There is a perception among young people that cocaine is a clean safe drug - which it is not.’
      • ‘And for the first six months I was clean, but then we kept saying yes to more gigs, I started drinking too much and taking a bit of charlie, to get through it.’
      • ‘This article is to tell clean people that they should avoid involvement with drugs.’
      • ‘Once someone seeks help they need constant care until they are clean - and this must come with tolerance.’
      • ‘We've got loads of drug counsellors but nobody is getting clean.’
      • ‘I've made amends to my family; I bring them a lot of joy because I'm clean and I brought them sadness during my using.’
      • ‘I've been clean for four years because I'm a mother.’
      • ‘I've enjoyed it here and it's chapter one of my clean life.’
      sober, teetotal, non-drinking, clear-headed, as sober as a judge
      View synonyms
    6. 2.6 Free from ceremonial defilement, according to Mosaic Law and similar religious codes.
      • ‘We need not worry about such things as ceremonial washings and clean and unclean foods.’
  • 3Free from irregularities; having a smooth edge or surface.

    ‘a clean fracture of the leg’
    • ‘Once you have the base removed use a smooth bastard file to make the edges nice and clean and free of burrs.’
    • ‘The patented coring tine cuts clean cores at the surface and shatters the soil below.’
    • ‘On the left is the smooth, clean surface of the new dam that has turned part of the Colorado River into a lake.’
    • ‘In addition, they create a clean edge to a planting scheme and disguise the unsightly lower section of many herbaceous perennials.’
    • ‘Scissors should cut smooth and clean, right where you aim them.’
    • ‘When positioning the drywall panel, align the top of each panel with the ceiling edge or the angle break to assure a clean edge.’
    • ‘They have been scoured and polished to such a smooth clean finish that scarcely one fine white thread of ligament remains between the joints.’
    • ‘Some of the breakdown showed very clean fracture surfaces, looking very fresh.’
    • ‘Steel forms require more attention to ensure a clean, smooth surface.’
    • ‘Also, wires, especially for gas metal-arc welding, must have clean, smooth surfaces.’
    • ‘They also can be washed to ensure that the next slab or tilt panel has a clean edge.’
    • ‘Such a clean penetration could have been caused only by a high speed projectile, such as rifle bullet.’
    • ‘I got started and cut a clean, smooth curve along the front of the desk, surprising my dad, but not I.’
    • ‘There's a fracture on the elbow area, and it appears that it's a clean fracture, so it looks like it will heal.’
    • ‘The main objective of the wadcutter design is to cut a nice clean hole in a paper target.’
    1. 3.1 Having a simple, well-defined, and pleasing shape.
      ‘the clean lines and pared-down planes of modernism’
      • ‘This urban contemporary collection keeps things in perspective with simple forms, clean lines and subtle shapes.’
      • ‘There's certainly nothing odd about his simple structure, with its clean lines and elegant agrarian forms.’
      • ‘The opening menu interface is clean with simple, well-delineated choices - go into the robot lab or go into the arena.’
      • ‘Scandinavia: the home of everything pure, sleek, clean and earthy.’
      • ‘The magnificent master bedroom is elegantly curved in shape, has clean sweeping lines and luxurious en-suite facilities.’
      • ‘The only thing that breaks its clean lines is the paper tray, which drops open from the front of the unit.’
      • ‘The clean lines and the simple shapes are compelling in their quiet beauty and grace.’
      • ‘Linen looks best in simple shapes, with clean geometric lines.’
      • ‘The design of the paper was clean, if rather text-heavy.’
      • ‘You may roll your eyes at the design of these pages, but at least they're fairly clean.’
      • ‘She chose few pieces of furniture and selected items that have clean, simple lines, like the house itself.’
      • ‘The pieces are simple, with clean lines and few projecting gadgets such as drawer handles.’
      • ‘The simple white walls and clean lines of the store, he says, have the effect of allowing you to see the products clearly.’
      • ‘Inspired by the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, classic rooms have clean, simple lines and formal symmetry.’
      • ‘Shapes are clean and simple, patterns bold and striking and details subtle but sharp.’
      • ‘He likes clean, simple lines but also creates interesting effects by using contrasting timbers such as walnut and maple.’
      • ‘They're very thin and delicate, with elegant slender stems and a simple, clean design.’
      • ‘The artistic style in some cases overshadows the writings, no matter how clean and legible the writings are.’
      • ‘The cabin has clean, simple lines and seems very user-friendly.’
      • ‘That aesthetic would require clean, simple lines, and no fussiness.’
      simple, elegant, graceful, uncluttered, trim, shapely, unfussy, uncomplicated
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2 (of an action) smoothly and skillfully done.
      ‘I still hadn't made a clean takeoff’
      • ‘And I'm always impressed how they manage to make kissing look so clean and synchronised in the movies.’
      • ‘But he seemed to be taken by surprise and failed to make a clean contact as the other player was able to parry his shot at the expense of a corner.’
      • ‘Coming in at speed, he couldn't quite make a clean contact and the chance of crowning a superb move with a goal was gone.’
      • ‘In the musicals, the performances were very clean, and flowed smoothly and the acting was natural and often sparked laughter.’
      • ‘After a few minutes, she got the gist of it, and was making smooth clean strokes.’
      • ‘It is important they get a good, clean catch as this may be the difference in taking a shot up or having to pass it.’
      • ‘A clean catch and drive provided the platform for a march to the line and the winning try.’
      • ‘Leading up to the 9th frame of their title match, the two left-handers had bowled clean games.’
      • ‘The smooth, clean stroke is there, along with her glistening apprehension of sun and weather.’
      • ‘As far as his routes, he runs clean routes and can catch almost anything.’
      • ‘His clean movements cut through the waves, barely disturbing the surface; almost as if he were born to water and not the land.’
      • ‘The windows are attached to the panel using rivets, which makes for a smooth, clean installation.’
      • ‘It was a clean take-off, and he was airborne five minutes after starting his take-off run.’
      neat, smooth, crisp, straight, accurate, precise, slick
      View synonyms
  • 4(of a taste, sound, or smell) giving a clear and distinctive impression to the senses; sharp and fresh.

    ‘clean, fresh, natural flavors’
    • ‘The taster monitors first whether the wine smells fresh and clean, or whether any off-odours indicate the presence of a wine fault.’
    • ‘If only it had remixed the monaural soundtrack into something with more depth, but the audio is clean and clear in any case.’
    • ‘Fresh fish should have firm, springy flesh, a clear color, a moist look, and a clean smell.’
    • ‘Sydney's top ten rate among the best in the world if your tastes are for fresh ingredients, unpretentious culinary achievement and clean tastes.’
    • ‘The clean, fresh tastes so lively and vibrant in the starters were nowhere to be had here.’
    • ‘More gravel than flint, it has a clean, lime-tinged wash and a zesty finish.’
    • ‘Her voice is pure, clean, vivid, with the flexibility and colors demanded in Verdi.’
    • ‘The guitars plug in and the amps come to life with a clean thread of pure rock.’
    • ‘The tamilok, its fans swear, has a fresh clean taste that sends shivers of pleasure down one's alimentary canal.’
    • ‘A good lemon tart should be gently set and lightly golden with a fresh, clean, lemony taste, rather than anything overly sour and overly sweet.’
    • ‘The stew was spiked with still-crisp bits of green pepper and onion, and had a clean taste of fresh vegetables.’
    • ‘Eating asparagus on the day it is picked is a truly special experience, the fresh clean flavour just sings.’
    • ‘The audio is clean and clear, conveying voices and sound effects with equal ease.’
    • ‘This elegant and lithe New Zealand Riesling is crisp and cool answer, with a wash of clean lime and light nut notes.’
    • ‘The wash is clean, nicely acidic with a lovely limey mid-palate.’
    • ‘This simple natural Thai soup offers fresh clean flavours that fuse the taste that is Thai cuisine.’
    • ‘She had a clean, pure voice, only filled with oodles of emotion.’
    • ‘The songs are washed in earnest clean rhythm guitar and nice, glimmering production.’
    • ‘Their sound is clean and high energy and their performance is confident and sharp.’
    • ‘At its best it produces light to medium-bodied, crisp dry white wines with hints of apples, honey and yeast and a refreshingly pure and clean finish.’

adverb

  • 1So as to be free from dirt, marks, or unwanted matter.

    ‘the room had been washed clean’
    • ‘There is nothing like a morning under the brine to scrub clean a tired and mucky heart and head.’
    • ‘I wondered if we could get far enough south for a warm rain to wash me clean.’
    • ‘A good injector sprays fuel out as a mist and the fuel burns rapidly and relatively clean as the droplets are so small that they burn with a puff!’
    • ‘It disgusted me so much to even think about them that I ran to the washroom and washed them clean.’
    • ‘Bodybuilding itself could use a strong storm to blow through and wash it clean.’
    • ‘Beaches are giant blank spaces, washed clean every day, on which all sorts of hopes are projected.’
    • ‘My hands are so stained with blood that all the rain in Heaven couldn't wash them clean.’
    • ‘She stripped down to just a shift, scrubbing clean the clothes that she'd been wearing.’
    • ‘With one hand, you pour the water and with the other, you wash yourself clean.’
    • ‘It won't scrub your insides clean, but it may help and it feels good.’
    • ‘Soapy wash bags are also great for scrubbing the kids clean, and softening the skin at the same time.’
    • ‘Before entering the Wellington's special care baby unit they had to scrub their hands clean and cover themselves in protective overalls.’
    • ‘The first task they were given was to scrub clean one of the barracks toilets and the pipe leading out of the wall which was disconnected from the septic tank.’
    • ‘He'd scrubbed the tires clean before bringing it home so she wouldn't know he hadn't bought it new.’
    • ‘Once, he pressured someone into scrubbing his boots clean and moaned when he noticed one speck of mud on the bottom.’
    • ‘My associate will make two copies of the judgment available to each side, so that you have one upon which you may annotate and one you may preserve clean.’
    1. 1.1 In a way that involves the consumption of unprocessed, unrefined, and nutrient-rich food.
      ‘plain oatmeal is a staple for anyone who's eating clean’
  • 2informal Used to emphasize the completeness of a reported action, condition, or experience.

    ‘he was knocked clean off his feet’
    ‘I clean forgot her birthday’
    • ‘He got up, landed some nice shots then finished his foe with a ridiculous counter right hand that knocked him clean out.’
    • ‘He opened his mouth while he pulled one of his hands free from its pocket, and flicked his eyes clean across my face.’
    • ‘It knocked the Statue of Liberty clean off its pedestal before soundlessly swallowing her up.’
    • ‘The ferocious second-half free kick which lifted him clean off his feet was impressive.’
    • ‘So that was that - except that in the rush to sort out the mystery, she clean forgot to ask what emergency the fire engine was going to.’
    • ‘It knocked the victims clean into the air.’
    • ‘He dropped to the floor and swept his adversary's feet clean away.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the wind picked up, knocking Jerry clean off his feet.’
    • ‘Global warming was right here, right now: and the idle daydream that it would just import Mediterranean sunshine had been washed clean away.’
    • ‘Other storeowners tell us that they're clean out of plywood - no more plywood left on the island to batten down the hatches.’
    • ‘Shall we leave that until 1 o'clock over lunch or shall we adjourn early and get a clean start at 2 o'clock if this case progresses?’
    completely, entirely, totally, fully, wholly, thoroughly, altogether, quite, utterly, absolutely
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Make (something or someone) free of dirt, marks, or mess, especially by washing, wiping, or brushing.

    ‘clean your teeth properly after meals’
    ‘chair covers should be easy to clean’
    ‘we cleaned Uncle Jim up and made him presentable’
    [no object] ‘he always expected other people to clean up after him’
    ‘Anne will help with the cleaning’
    • ‘It can be easier to clean their teeth if you cradle your baby's head in your arms in front of you.’
    • ‘I will stamp my foot until the city rises into the sky and the dirt and filth is cleaned away.’
    • ‘You may be required to clean the property and tidy the garden before leaving.’
    • ‘You were to dust my bookshelves and wash the windows and clean the carpets twice a week.’
    • ‘Use vodka, gin, or any pure alcohol to erase lipstick stains from your collar, or to clean paint or ink stains from your carpet.’
    • ‘It also makes it easier to properly clean the barrel from the breech.’
    • ‘My father has this bright idea that he's gonna clean it by washing it down and scrubbing it and vacuuming.’
    • ‘Spyware protection software helps you to completely clean your computer of invasive threats.’
    • ‘When we emerged, I grabbed some leaves off a nearby plant to clean the dirt off my hands.’
    • ‘In short, show her how to mow the lawn, wash the car and clean the pool, and let her practise these chores until she does it as well as you.’
    • ‘Get up, make bed, get dressed, get books ready, brush hair, wash face, clean dorm and head for the dining room for breakfast.’
    • ‘With a cloth from the windowsill, he began to clean the crumbly dirt from his find.’
    • ‘Have a dentist clean your teeth to get rid of tobacco stains and decide to keep them looking like that.’
    • ‘After refreshing up his information on the case, he had enough time to finish up his other reports and clean his desk.’
    • ‘The first conservation step is to clean the surface of dirt and loose accumulations with water and detergent applied under high pressure.’
    • ‘People can't wash themselves or clean their places and this becomes a breeding place of diseases.’
    • ‘Always wash your hands or clean them with a hand-wipe immediately before and after eating a meal.’
    • ‘Gum disease happens when plaque builds up because the teeth are not cleaned properly.’
    • ‘She also hopes to ensure that the district council's cleansing and amenities targets the shop area and cleans it of dirt, weeds and loose bricks.’
    • ‘She does my laundry, cleans my house, tidies up after me and empties the cat's litter box.’
    wash, cleanse, wipe, sponge, scrub, mop, rinse, scour, swab, hose down, flush, polish, disinfect
    launder
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Remove the innards of (fish or poultry) prior to cooking.
      • ‘The answer greatly depends on how often a person cleans fish, how many fish they clean and the species and size of those fish.’
      • ‘She said her boys had fishing rods, a net and knives to clean the fish they caught.’
      • ‘For another, the pier isn't an ideal place to clean fish because it lacks a table, running water and a garbage can.’
      • ‘Let the fishmonger scale, clean and gut the fish (I leave the head on).’
      • ‘Taking out a small knife, she began to clean the fish.’
      • ‘Ten minutes later, they began to gut and clean the fish.’
      • ‘Even George, when he had taught her how to clean a fish, hadn't felt the same.’
      • ‘He then took out his knife and proceeded to clean the fish, and this was a signal for her to go and set up the beds.’
      • ‘Occasionally we'd give them to a neighbor, but my mother wouldn't clean fish so it was almost always a waste.’
      • ‘The day before the demonstration he beheads and cleans the gutted haddock, ties them in pairs and dry salts them for anything from one and a half to five hours, depending on their size and firmness.’
      • ‘Three hours later, we'll return to clean fish, fry fish and eat fish.’
      • ‘She sat down on the log and she just waited for him to carry on with cleaning the fish.’
      • ‘It spends a good portion showing how to clean almost every fish imaginable.’
      gut, eviscerate, remove the innards of, draw, dress
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • (as) clean as a whistle

    • 1Extremely clean or clear.

      • ‘The next morning your kettle will be clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘The production is clean as a whistle and as smooth as a newly varnished coffee table.’
      • ‘I noticed that it was brand new and clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘I insisted Jon have a CT scan, a calcium scan, and he came up clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘After my digestive tract was clean as a whistle, and I looked like an extra from Schindler's List, it was time to get a look inside of me and see what was wrong.’
      • ‘Well no, but its excellent rollaway hood, complete with dinky peak, keeps you dry and clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘I think some actors probably find it frustrating, because he likes things clean as a whistle, unadorned, and unemotional, generally speaking.’
      • ‘The congreso (the local government) has a traditionally tight grip on the community, and like the other Kuna villages we visited, the place is clean as a whistle, with not a bit of trash in sight.’
      • ‘All recordings have come up as clean as a whistle and the album is a fine memorial to another conductor who was so tragically short lived.’
      • ‘Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.’
      • ‘My music will never sound as well-produced as some techno record that sounds clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘This property is clean as a whistle and move in ready.’
      • ‘Technically, Owen Moriarty's playing is as clean as a whistle with tonally strong projection.’
      • ‘The colors are crisp and clear, the picture as clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘An abdominal computerized tomographic scan was clean as a whistle except for a fatty liver, and a gallbladder hepatobiliary scan also was negative.’
      • ‘More importantly for our purposes, the all-digital source material transfers to DVD clean as a whistle.’
      sanitary, clean, germ-free, dirt-free, disinfected, sterilized, sterile, antiseptic, aseptic, uninfected, unpolluted, uncontaminated, salubrious, healthy, pure, wholesome
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1informal Free of incriminating evidence.
        ‘the cops raided the warehouse but the place was clean as a whistle’
        • ‘Testing on samples from the suspicious cow is continuing but all tests done to date show that ‘she was clean as a whistle’, said the veterinarian.’
        • ‘As far as I can tell, Jeremy Luke's as clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘British agriculture on the whole is as clean as a whistle, compared to some other parts of Europe.’
        • ‘Are the other political parties immune to this disease and therefore as clean as a whistle in this regard?’
        • ‘Even if you're clean as a whistle, you're guilty by association.’
        • ‘One of ITV1's most popular shows, The X Factor, opens its vote lines on Saturday and Sir Michael promised: "We are absolutely confident it will be clean as a whistle as a result of the Deloitte process."’
        • ‘This could result in a situation where you apply for, say, a personal loan, but get turned down for it even though your own credit report is as clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘I'm not saying I was clean as a whistle back then, but I did learn to read music.’
        • ‘So i arrive at the call and get to work, and what do you know there's a 40 gig hard drive, clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘The computer is as clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘He is as clean as a whistle, so darn popular and a Christian to boot.’
        • ‘Especially considering yesterday we thought this was one clean as a whistle kid, and then today we find out there was a very real possibility he was into drugs.’
        • ‘Similarly, those seeking to control crime, and raise consequential consumer confidence, must appear to be clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘If he was clean as a whistle, would they be willing to do this?’
        • ‘‘[This] is a blow-by-blow fight… in the trenches of bureaucracy,’ cautions Githongo, who is known to be clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘Thereafter Abbey should have a business as clean as a whistle, enabling it to focus on its personal financial services side.’
        • ‘But that does not mean the remainder of the existing commercial loan portfolio is as clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘His men have not been averse to the odd mistake or two, but for the most part yesterday - or at least for as long as it mattered - they were as clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘She's as clean as a whistle, but you, you obviously had something to do with this mess.’
        • ‘‘This is as clean as a whistle,’ Welch said in October at a press conference announcing the purchase.’
  • clean bill of health

  • clean someone's clock

    • 1informal Give someone a beating.

      ‘he went wild and cleaned everybody's clock down there in the dugout’
      • ‘Then, when they meet a skilled person who is really trying to clean their clock, they may be disappointed in what they can actually pull out of their training.’
      • ‘Maybe I should invest in a hemp shirt reading ‘Don't knock my smock, or I'll clean your clock.’’
      • ‘I want names buster or I am going to come down there and personally clean your clock.’
      • ‘And I don't think they saw him there, and they cleaned his clock.’
      • ‘Speaking of Thanksgiving, some fool in a car almost cleaned my clock on my way in to work this morning!’
      • ‘I tried talking to him, he had nothin’ but mumbles, so I cleaned his clock with a solid left.’
      • ‘The impact knocked me unconscious and from what I've heard, a few more bombs cleaned my clock.’
      1. 1.1Defeat or surpass someone decisively.
        • ‘As he became a dot on the horizon I reassured myself if I were his age, with his bike, with his quads, his parents and his Spandex I'd clean his clock.’
        • ‘I heard that the new kid who just moved into the old dojo cleaned your clock.’
        • ‘Every so often, the enemy presents himself and at every instance he does that, we clean his clock.’
        • ‘Sure we have taken some casualties, but the people we are fighting are criminals, terrorists, and punks and we are cleaning their clock.’
        • ‘To me, there is nothing better - and I'm only talking about in athletics now - than absolutely cleaning someone's clock.’
        • ‘He cleaned his clock in the French debate.’
        • ‘Dad turned beet red, the whole café howled with laughter, and I proceeded to clean Dad 's clock for like the ninth straight week.’
        • ‘I sorta’ threw the gauntlet down the previous year and made it clear I'd clean Dave 's clock on a stage or two if he had the guts to take me on.’
        • ‘Although Ray played well, he and his partner could not beat a pair of high handicappers who almost cleaned their clock.’
  • clean house

    • 1Do housework.

      • ‘They earned a few pennies an hour, but that was more than they could make in the fields or cleaning house.’
      • ‘Those who observed the tradition prepared for the holiday by cleaning house, buying new clothes and placing a dish of sprouted wheat, rye or lentil seeds in the window to represent new growth after a harsh winter.’
      • ‘A man will do almost anything not to cook, wash dishes, or clean house.’
      • ‘In most families, women care for the children, clean house, do the marketing, cook meals, wash dishes and clothes, and carry wood and water.’
      • ‘What about those few of us who don't find fulfillment in cleaning house?’
      • ‘I was duly dispatched to clean house for bourgeois wives in the suburbs who complained I was too slow, and a choirmaster who asked if I ever considered modelling swimwear.’
      • ‘I'd done pretty well, considering, and I'll get myself off to bed at a sensible hour so as to be up bright and early tomorrow to clean house before the heat turns up once more.’
      • ‘Yard work, cleaning house and washing cars are good exercise.’
      • ‘Well, as nature cleans house, as it washes/blows away ‘excess’, or shakes at its core, or erupts the underground gases and lava, mankind must pick up the pieces and move on!’
      • ‘Here's one more well-off woman playing at cleaning house while real women are out there struggling.’
      1. 1.1Eliminate corruption or inefficiency.
        ‘unless our organization cleans house, it will be difficult to raise funds’
        • ‘He was determined to become the real head of the Intelligence Community and to clean house at CIA by eliminating deadwood and cutting costs.’
        • ‘Now, most Japanese fund managers have cleaned house.’
        • ‘The official party newspaper attributed the success to efforts to rejuvenate and clean house.’
        • ‘He came to a club torn apart by in-fighting and cleaned house.’
        • ‘Dozens of advisors to the late leader have been fired in a shakeup to clean house of corrupt administrators.’
        • ‘Of course, he is keenly aware that corruption is so ingrained in the fabric of political life that trying to clean house could bring down the house itself, and that a sort of unstated amnesty could prevail.’
        • ‘You, Sheila, are the perfect person to be the broom that cleans house in our sports establishments.’
        • ‘Unless he cleans house, his will be the Edsel presidency.’
        • ‘It is time to clean house, and in four years time if I am not happy with the way the Conservatives are running the country then I will work for their defeat.’
        • ‘He added: ‘The president needs to clean house and wipe away the senior executives of the intelligence agency.’’
  • clean one's plate

    • Eat up all the food put on one's plate.

      • ‘What gain comes from you cleaning your plate?’
      • ‘I pack half the food away right then so that I can clean my plate without stuffing myself-and I have a meal for the next day.’
      • ‘I continued to tell her about the new policy they issued and just let the conversation drop at that point by cleaning my plate.’
      • ‘It wasn't until I'd cleaned my plate that I thought to check if there were any adzuki beans.’
      • ‘I cleaned my plate, to the point of taking a corn tortilla and mopping up the last cheesy queso smear.’
      • ‘I took a tentative bite and then cleaned my plate.’
      • ‘I leave a lot on the plate because I need not clean my plate.’
      • ‘If you aren't happy with yourself, you'll always be shaken by mom and dad telling you off for not cleaning your plate.’
      • ‘She ordered seafood enchiladas and cleaned her plate, an almost unheard of event and one for which I am always thankful.’
      • ‘When I was growing up my parents would not allow me to leave the dinner table without cleaning my plate.’
  • a clean sweep

    • 1The removal of all unwanted people or things in order to start afresh.

      ‘the new leaders wanted to make a clean sweep of the discredited old order’
      • ‘Not exactly decisive behaviour from the people that are trying to make a clean sweep of things.’
      • ‘You lot make a clean sweep of the area.’
      • ‘The 1977 Act did not, however, accomplish a clean sweep of common law conspiracy.’
      • ‘He made a clean sweep by removing all the interior walls and covering the outer walls and ceiling in white Venetian plaster.’
      • ‘I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it.’
      • ‘The broom, for example, appears ready to make a clean sweep.’
      • ‘Back in the heady dotcom days, it seemed as though online polling was poised to make a clean sweep of market research - revolutionizing the way companies conducted quantitative and qualitative research.’
      • ‘No Government has so far succeeded in making a clean sweep of maladies affecting our police.’
      • ‘To get investors the best prices, it needs to make a clean sweep of barriers that impede trading.’
      • ‘For a man with a broom wanting to make a clean sweep of city hall, one couldn't ask for a better place to start.’
    • 2The winning of all of a group of similar or related competitions, events, or matches.

      ‘he was in reach of the nomination after a clean sweep of Tuesday's primaries’
      • ‘England were dreaming of the Grand Slam today after completing the third leg of a potential Six Nations Championship clean sweep.’
      • ‘Royal College tennis players made a clean sweep at the Inter-School tennis championships by winning all six titles on offer.’
      • ‘Burnley turned back the clock to record a clean sweep of victories for the first time since the beginning of the season.’
      • ‘The people of Listowel made a clean sweep at a prize-giving event which recognised their efforts to improve the town's appearance over the past few years.’
      • ‘It was Cooke's first appearance at the Sportcity venue since making a clean sweep of the national youth titles over seven years ago.’
      • ‘York and District Indoor Bowls Club enjoyed a clean sweep in the Yorkshire League, the Hebden Trophy and the North Eastern League.’
      • ‘Zambia squash aces dominated the recently-ended East Africa squash safari circuit, by making a clean sweep of all three titles on the Kenya tour.’
      • ‘The Triple Crown also came as part of Wales' victory package amid a clean sweep of honours in European rugby's blue riband event.’
      • ‘Thus he made a clean sweep of all the events he participated in.’
      • ‘Dundalk anglers made a clean sweep of the prizes in the Danes Cast Firshery's New Year's Day Competition.’
      come first, finish first, be the winner, be victorious, be the victor, carry the day, win the day, carry all before one, defeat the opposition, overcome the opposition, take the crown, take the honours, gain the palm, come out ahead, come out on top, succeed, triumph, prevail, achieve mastery
      View synonyms
  • clean up one's act

    • informal Begin to behave in a better way, especially by giving up alcohol, drugs, or illegal activities.

      ‘the casino industry is bent on cleaning up its act’
      • ‘Now is the time to sift through those cluttered cupboards and clean up your act.’
      • ‘Now comes the time to get real and clean up my act.’
  • come clean

    • informal Be completely honest; keep nothing hidden.

      ‘the company has refused to come clean about its pollution record’
      • ‘If the department wants transformation targets met, then they must be honest and come clean about this.’
      • ‘Referring to her police interviews after her arrest, he told the jurors: ‘It is now apparent she was very far from coming clean in those interviews.’’
      • ‘The highways authorities must come clean and tell all road users what is wrong, and what they are doing to put it right.’
      • ‘Even he finally comes clean with an honest assessment of his shipmates and it's not complimentary.’
      • ‘And I figured the only way to get him to come clean would be if I came clean first.’
      • ‘One cannot help but be impressed by this seasoned politician's adeptness at the art of coming clean without coming clean.’
      • ‘They have no interest, my friends, in coming clean and being honest with the American people.’
      • ‘She said he refused to come clean to the police, saying it would cost him his job.’
      • ‘When is somebody going to come clean and reveal the real hidden agenda?’
      • ‘The question is, will it be done responsibly, by coming clean about the hidden liabilities now and taking the necessary, if painful, steps to deal with them?’
      tell the truth, be completely honest, tell all, make a clean breast of it
      confess, own up, admit guilt, admit to one's actions, admit to one's crimes, admit to one's sins, accept blame, accept responsibility, plead guilty
      get something off one's chest, fess up
      View synonyms
  • have clean hands

    • Be uninvolved and blameless with regard to an immoral act.

      ‘no one involved in the conflict has clean hands’
      • ‘If the applicant is seeking an equitable remedy it must come to court with clean hands and reveal the state of its financial house.’
      • ‘No region of the world has been spared it and very few people have clean hands.’
      • ‘We are the only party that can come along and say we have clean hands.’
      • ‘As a society, I would love to think that we are humble, righteous, and that our hands are clean.’
      • ‘But there are questions about the loyalty and integrity of this intelligence service that, after all, does not have clean hands.’
      • ‘Perhaps she had forgotten that if you are going to preach, it is as well to have clean hands.’
      • ‘The truth is that politicians do not have clean hands to deal with it.’
      • ‘Neither side, however, can claim to have clean hands.’
      • ‘I don't think many people have clean hands when it comes to bullying, and nor should we pretend to.’
      • ‘Real institutions, real governments, and real leaders will never have clean hands in a dirty world.’
  • keep one's hands clean

    • Not involve oneself in an immoral act.

      • ‘This means they can keep their hands clean at all times.’
      • ‘You may throw it yourself or you may arrange for it to be leaked in a manner that will keep your hands clean.’
      • ‘But my cynical side says that the primary advantage governments see to legalizing the sale of needles is that it allows them to keep their hands clean.’
      • ‘The philosophy seemed to be that you don't catch grubs by keeping your hands clean.’
      • ‘It combines the childish fascination of gross toys with an adult sensibility that lets sober critics keep their hands clean.’
      • ‘You can keep your hands clean, or you can keep many more people alive.’
      • ‘But her desire to keep her hands clean of them was also, one suspects, an act of self preservation.’
      • ‘When the chips were down the game's governing body refused to get involved and preferred to keep their hands clean.’
      • ‘They believed you could be a key player in international politics yet keep your hands clean.’
      • ‘He probably did this all the time, watched innocent people die while keeping his hands clean.’
  • keep one's nose clean

    • Stay out of trouble.

      • ‘Deliver the essentials of municipal government, do not embarrass the city, keep your nose clean and we will re-elect you until the cows come home.’
      • ‘The defendant was given five months to prove he can keep his nose clean after a judge said she wanted to see if he could stay out of trouble.’
      • ‘He can continue to practice law but must keep his nose clean.’
      • ‘A judge promised to clean the slate after the Virginia Beach incident - provided he kept his nose clean for a year, which he did.’
      • ‘If you are not high enough up the business ladder, you take your wages, keep your nose clean, and you get in trouble if you waste a paper clip.’
      • ‘To get there, though, he must keep his nose clean.’
      • ‘But if you kept your nose clean and got on with your life, they left you alone.’
      • ‘Sienna is a real threat because she's younger - and has kept her nose clean.’
      • ‘Now, you would have thought that right now he would be trying to keep his nose clean, steer clear of anything that could, just possibly, be misinterpreted as deception.’
      • ‘It is not safe to play around when one is in the public eye, it always comes out, so if you want to climb higher in the political arena you need to keep your nose clean!’
  • make a clean breast of something (or make a clean breast of it)

    • Confess fully one's mistakes or wrongdoings.

      • ‘But we will be demanding they make a clean breast of it as soon as possible.’
      • ‘I reckon you need to wipe the slate, mate, make a clean breast of it, so to speak.’
      • ‘Let's make a clean breast of it so we can start the day anew filled with love.’
      • ‘I can think of no reason why you should not make a clean breast of it.’
      • ‘Why don't they make a clean breast of it and say, ‘Look, ladies and gentlemen, we're really not dealing in news.’’
      • ‘More than 10 years on, Jersey has finally made a clean breast of it.’
      • ‘He makes a clean breast of it all to David, Helen's young friend from England who comes looking for salvation.’
      • ‘If any would care to make a clean breast of it, incidentally, we're willing to listen.’
      • ‘If he has had an extramarital affair, he ought to make a clean breast of it.’
      • ‘Tell all, make a clean breast of it, say what it is.’
      tell the truth, be completely honest, tell all, make a clean breast of it
      confess, own up, admit guilt, admit to one's actions, admit to one's crimes, admit to one's sins, accept blame, accept responsibility, plead guilty
      get something off one's chest, fess up
      View synonyms
  • make a clean job of something

    • informal Do something thoroughly.

      • ‘It may take some file edits as well to make a clean job of it.’
      • ‘If you don't facilitate for fence construction during the wall install all bets are off on making a clean job of it after the fact!’
      • ‘Here, pros discuss efficient ways to make a clean job of it.’
      • ‘In the old days the nobility would tip the headsman to make a clean job of it.’
      • ‘If you don't know how to make a clean job of it ask a more experienced climber to help you.’
      • ‘Operations this season were to make a clean job of it, and salvage was small.’
      • ‘However, the witches were not particularly preoccupied with making a clean job of things.’
      • ‘The next moment he calmly placed his head on the block, telling the axeman to take good aim and make a clean job of it.’
      • ‘Normally if its the rubbery tint you should be able to just peel it off without any problems, but if its the papery stuff you are going to have to go at it with a razor blade and some adhesive remover for a while to make a clean job of it.’
      • ‘So better make a clean job of it, and wipe him out at once!’
  • wipe the slate clean

    • Forgive or forget past faults or offenses; make a fresh start.

      • ‘With each new year comes a fresh start, a chance to wipe the slate clean, to make way for a happier, healthier, better you.’
      • ‘To let things go, to wipe the slate clean, to forgive, to forget.’
      • ‘To be fair he had one good idea which became law - wiping the slate clean for people with very minor non-violent offences who had not re-offended for at least ten years.’
      • ‘The reason new year is such a good thing is that it resets the counter, wipes the slate clean and gives you a chance to try again at the things you failed to do last year.’
      • ‘We attempted to wipe the slate clean, and start afresh.’
      • ‘It is this ability to wipe the slate clean, to forget history and all its barriers and prejudices, which is behind the attraction of new towns.’
      • ‘He wrote: ‘Let bygones be bygones, wipe the slate clean and work toward peace.’’
      • ‘Reminiscent of classic thrillers, the movie's real core is the dangerous allure of wiping the slate clean and starting your life all over again.’
      • ‘Well, we at the Olympics have decided to forget all that, wipe the slate clean and put them to an impartial test.’
      • ‘We are going to wipe the slate clean and go back to the drawing board.’
      • ‘Can we please just wipe the slate clean and get a new government?’
      • ‘But until you can get credit again, you cannot prove you have wiped the slate clean.’
      • ‘But to abandon subjects does not just wipe the slate clean with the possibility of alternative lifestyles, pursuits and pleasures lining up to divert us.’
      • ‘So, he'd moved him and his sister to Atlanta, in the hopes that he could start fresh, wipe the slate clean.’
      • ‘However, due to a recovery plan now in force, they hope to have wiped the slate clean by March, 2005.’
      • ‘Serialism was vital in the way it wiped the slate clean, invoking a new year zero where everything would be up for grabs.’
      • ‘A glorious, annually renewed opportunity to use as you please: you can wipe the slate clean, right past wrongs, reinvent yourself entirely!’
      • ‘We're the new owners with new ideas and we're making a fresh start and we're going to wipe the slate clean.’
      • ‘I wanted to start afresh, to wipe the slate clean and forget about the endless mother-daughter feud, and finally let go of Ellum.’
      • ‘Off to the big city to seek her fortune; to escape her past, her burnt bridges; to wipe the slate clean.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • clean someone out

    • Use up or take all someone's money.

      ‘they were cleaned out by the Englishman at the baccarat table’
      • ‘We cleaned them out at midfield but missed four goal chances.’
      • ‘I think they were cleaned out of balls, gloves and any little trinket that the kids could prise out of them.’
      • ‘Although you might question the appeal of visiting a town dedicated to cleaning you out, you shouldn't write off Las Vegas.’
      • ‘Music students gearing up to make a bid for pop superstardom suffered a major setback when thieves cleaned them out.’
      • ‘It wasn't your fault that your wife left, cleaning you out.’
      • ‘His visit is primarily intended to clean us out of food and drink, but I'm sure he'll find time to fit in a little lazing about between his gluttonous endeavours.’
      • ‘And a lady, originally from Ireland, cleaned me out of tea towels.’
      • ‘I had five dollars in my pocket when I sat down at the table and they cleaned me out.’
      • ‘Spend the same amount of time and money at the slots or the tables, and you could be cleaned out.’
      • ‘They also took some electrical equipment that I'd got for my birthday and cleaned me out of all my gold.’
      bankrupt, ruin, make insolvent, make penniless, wipe out, impoverish, reduce to destitution, reduce to penury, bring to ruin, bring someone to their knees, break, cripple
      pauperize, beggar
      View synonyms
  • clean up

    • 1Make things or an area clean or neat.

      ‘he was in the kitchen, cleaning up’
      • ‘I sat and slowly the crowd dissolved and soon there was no one there except the crew that was cleaning up the unloading area.’
      • ‘After eating, both women and men engaged in the dancing and, before leaving, in the cleaning up of the area the family occupied.’
      • ‘She then hears them cleaning up their areas and leaving the room.’
      • ‘On the lower end of the priority list would be identifying high interest areas and cleaning up the safety awards program.’
      • ‘Several of the hosts were now cleaning up around the area and folding chairs and tables, to be put away until the next major event.’
      • ‘To some extent, the decline may reflect real progress in areas like cleaning up rivers and streams.’
      • ‘Or is he taking on a very big job down there, as the president's viceroy for cleaning up that area?’
      • ‘After her work was finished, she cleaned up the kitchen area and returned to her room.’
      • ‘Crews are doing what they can to try and clean up this area, but floodwaters remain a huge problem.’
      • ‘Brush and woodlots located near a vineyard can be a continual source of flea beetles and these areas should be cleaned up if possible.’
    • 2Make a substantial gain or profit.

      • ‘A competent Democrat could clean up with a message to restore government for the people rather than for special interests.’
      • ‘Disinfectant companies have been cleaning up since the foot-and-mouth outbreak.’
      • ‘He travels the circuit, pretending to be an ordinary joe, and then cleans up on bets and prizes because he has a great rock-and-roll voice.’
    • 3Win all the prizes available in a sporting competition or series of events.

      ‘the Germans cleaned up at Wimbledon’
      • ‘Geraldton cleaned up at the recent WA Tidy Towns Competitions, taking out five awards.’
      • ‘City Arms added to their division one championship win by cleaning up all the competition trophies on offer.’
      • ‘In addition to their 3rd place trophies, this team cleaned up on the technical prizes winning three Near Pins and a Long Drive.’
      • ‘He cleaned up in the rifle competition by winning five of the six rifle matches in the champion shot competition.’
      come first, finish first, be the winner, be victorious, be the victor, carry the day, win the day, carry all before one, defeat the opposition, overcome the opposition, take the crown, take the honours, gain the palm, come out ahead, come out on top, succeed, triumph, prevail, achieve mastery
      View synonyms
  • clean something up

    • Restore order or morality to.

      ‘the police chief was given the job of cleaning up a notorious district’
      • ‘But by the 1990s, its image had been cleaned up as the Victorian buildings were restored and the old warehouse of the Merchant City transformed.’
      • ‘And the rank and file essentially went to the union and said, look, we've got to clean our act up, and we want to play on a straight playing field.’
      • ‘Conversations were cleaned up and no one eye-balled the waitresses.’
      • ‘The owner of garages plagued by arson attacks and used as a drinking den has been ordered to clean them up or pull them down.’
      • ‘In recent years, however, these roles have been reversed as crime rates in America have dropped lower and lower, and American cities have been cleaned up and made safer.’
      • ‘By 1913 the tango had become a worldwide phenomenon, but had undergone further adaptation in order to clean it up.’
      • ‘The perverse effect, you have to conclude, is that these well-meaning efforts will only encourage the bookies: if people truly believe the game has been cleaned up there will be still more money to be made.’

Origin

Old English clǣne; related to Dutch and German klein small.

Pronunciation:

clean

/klēn/