Definition of clean in English:

clean

adjective

  • 1Free from dirt, marks, or stains.

    ‘the room was spotlessly clean’
    ‘keep the wound clean’
    • ‘There was dirt under the usually clean fingernails.’
    • ‘And every room was spotlessly clean, without odour or any sort of smell.’
    • ‘Strain through clean, sterile muslin cloth and then drip through coffee filter paper.’
    • ‘The film is surprisingly clean and free of dirt or scratches, and colors are vibrant and rich.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Plastic should be reasonably clean and free of debris, such as twine and netting.’
    • ‘Everyone was polite to a fault, and the place was spotlessly clean.’
    • ‘The water ran down her face and left a clean streak through the dirt and grime on her.’
    • ‘As an adult she kept her homes immaculately clean, tidying, changing beds and scrubbing surfaces every day.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Let it sit for 3 minutes and blot with a clean cloth or tissue.’
    • ‘Blot the stain with a clean cloth, and then pour enough club soda on the stain to saturate the fabric.’
    • ‘The stick will come out perfectly clean if the cake is cooked.’
    • ‘Sometimes a brand new blank videotape of high quality will scrub the head chips clean.’
    • ‘The town centre is so clean, free of traffic, filled with hanging baskets.’
    • ‘The transfer is very clean, but the cinematography is average '70s horror.’
    • ‘Make certain your barrel is clean and free of oil or dirt.’
    • ‘Be sure the bottom of the tub is clean and free of any soap residue.’
    • ‘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.’
    washed, scrubbed, cleansed, cleaned, polished
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Having been washed since last worn or used.
      ‘a clean blouse’
      • ‘Will kicked off his boots and changed to something clean and washed his face.’
      • ‘They sat on the edge of the low shelf which served as a bench, scrubbed and washed and dressed in clean tunics.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She took out her clean uniform, washed and pressed, and packed it in her grey backpack.’
      • ‘I rinse my hair and grab a clean towel from a nearby towel rack.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Washed and with clean clothes and a hot hotel meal inside me, I felt like a new person.’
      • ‘He never tried to pull her hair or toss her skirt over her head or get dirt on her nice clean clothes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fill your sink with suds, mop away then rinse with a clean towel.’
      • ‘She opened a drawer of the vanity, finding inside clean rags to wash her face with.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You take the clean clothes, the soft-soled shoes and the paper with the details of the interview.’
    2. 1.2attributive (of paper) not yet marked by writing or drawing.
      ‘he copied the directions onto a 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I grabbed it and flipped through the pages of poetry and drawings till I found a clean page.’
      • ‘I took out a clean piece of paper and a black pen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It absorbs the color from the inks it blends, but is quickly cleaned with a couple of swipes on clean paper.’
      • ‘While I was re-writing it onto a clean piece of paper my dad came barging into my room.’
      • ‘I shall start over on a clean piece of paper when I have my proper brushes but I enjoyed doing this one immensely.’
      • ‘He packs plants in cardboard boxes lined with clean paper and occasionally uses icepacks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A wastebasket sat next to a stack of clean paper on the floor.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The biggest thing that we do differently is that we don't start from a totally clean sheet of 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’
      • ‘Our girls are clean and healthy.’
      • ‘By these means, the virtuous mother could mold an unspoiled, respectful, neat, and clean child.’
      • ‘People are far more likely to pick up happy-looking, clean people than dirty, hidden ones.’
      • ‘They are by nature fastidiously clean and typically free from body odour and parasites.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her view, when he started school a year ago, was that he was small for his age and not very clean.’
      • ‘Henry was fastidiously clean by the standards of the time.’
    4. 1.4 Free from pollutants or unpleasant substances.
      ‘we will create a cleaner, safer environment’
      • ‘A large, yet relatively clean city, it carried a certain benevolence that took it a step above its more unsavory neighbors.’
      • ‘Have bowls of clean snow ready (or use a snowbank close to the house).’
      • ‘Sandanski has the lowest annual rainfall in Bulgaria and its air is remarkably clean and pollution-free.’
      • ‘It has been observed that during the rainy season, most water sources become polluted and clean water is hard to find.’
      • ‘It is environment friendly, modular, silent, needs no fuel, there are no emissions or pollution; it is clean.’
      • ‘This mingling of polluted and clean air is particularly evident from January to April of each year during the winter monsoon.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By contrast, some countries with relatively clean air, such as Scotland and New Zealand, demonstrated high rates of allergic diseases.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Helping the weevils was the relatively clean water flowing into the dam.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The water is one degree Celsius, but at least the normally polluted lake is clean enough to swim in today.’
      • ‘Let us wish for a beautiful and clean earth without pollution in the future.’
      • ‘A worker who operates in a clean, safe and pollution-free atmosphere will certainly be happy.’
      • ‘In the marketplace, who would think to ask whether these fish came from a clean or a polluted river like this one?’
      • ‘Here, we have peace and quiet, still nights, and clean air.’
      • ‘Now fish can be found in the relatively clean water.’
      • ‘If you do get fresh concrete on your skin, wash it off with clean water.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Clean air, quiet streets and the rosy climate are good for children.’
      • ‘Keep food under hygienic conditions and thoroughly wash uncooked vegetables in clean water.’
      • ‘Thanks to its quiet roads, clean air and cheap housing, it is now claiming to be the fastest growing town in Europe.’
      pure, clear, fresh, crisp, refreshing
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    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’
      • ‘I decided to lose that extra 15–25 pounds by eating a clean diet, doing consistent cardio training, and going heavier with the weights.’
      • ‘I understand the appeal of having lots of convenient spots to duck into for a virtuous lunch or a quick, clean dinner—high on those swell Omega-3 fatty acids and low on the caloric excesses so common to restaurant food.’
      • ‘My reasons for giving up meat will probably have more to do with wanting to have a healthier, cleaner diet than any moral objection to eating meat.’
      • ‘I figure if you can eat two healthy, clean meals a day and not feel guilty about moderately indulging on the third meal, you're doing pretty well.’
      • ‘With clean eating and hard work in the gym, my physique changed quickly.’
      • ‘Modern techniques mean we can have nice, fresh, clean food all year round, at cheap prices, from the local supermarket.’
      • ‘Washboard abs come only with adequate resistance training, a clean diet and plenty of cardio.’
      • ‘The production of natural and organic foods is a virtuous cycle: You have to start off with clean land to grow grain for your clean breakfast cereal, or to feed to your clean chickens.’
      • ‘The book introduces an alternative vision of a farm system that preserves the land, protects communities, benefits small farmers, and produces clean food.’
      • ‘I always eat good clean food—lots of chicken and turkey, and sometimes beef.’
    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’
    • ‘‘I strongly reject the implicit suggestion that their party is morally clean,’ he said.’
    • ‘But this must be done in sincerity, with the desire to be spiritually clean and pure.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We need to be morally upright, like chaste virgins before God, pure and clean.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The people of the island were clothed in plain linen with a few pockets, and white dresses that looked innocent and clean.’
    • ‘Praise the Lord the sun has come to wash us clean.’
    • ‘Absolved of our sins, we are once more made as clean as the day of our baptism.’
    • ‘She looked so innocent, so clean that it was impossible to believe this creature evil.’
    • ‘Now that I'm clean as a penny whistle, what else would I do for fun?’
    • ‘Our center will provide a way for them to learn the art of clean, wholesome living and social responsibility.’
    • ‘And people enjoy having that emotion because it's a very clean and pure emotion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Other advice: not to quarrel; to live a clean, holy life; to do good; to share with others.’
    • ‘It is by self discipline and clean moral life that man can unveil the divine qualities in his personality.’
    virtuous, good, upright, upstanding
    innocent, guiltless, blameless, clear, in the clear, not to blame, guilt-free, crime-free, above suspicion, unimpeachable, irreproachable
    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 good clean fun for the kids and well worth a rental.’
      • ‘Never has such potentially raunchy role-playing seemed like such good clean fun.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They always record a clean version or else dub it out in the mix.’
      • ‘For good clean family fun, you just can't top it.’
      • ‘It was all good clean fun and a day many of the little people will cherish long after their Santa days.’
      • ‘The show promises to transport the audience to an era when humour meant good clean fun.’
    2. 2.2 Showing or having no record of offenses or crimes.
      ‘a clean driving license is essential for the job’
      • ‘In the interview, the guy never even asked to see my driver's license, or if I had a clean record.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Despite rumors here and there, she has a clean record.’
      • ‘But he said he had taken her age and previous clean record into account and imposed the community sentence.’
      • ‘It takes anywhere from five to 20 months to get a pardon and one must wait three years with a clean record before applying.’
      • ‘They should also have a clean record with regard to offences such as murder, rape, robbery, fraud, arson and kidnapping.’
      • ‘With a clean credit record once again, I hope you will be able to arrange a loan.’
      • ‘I really need a clean credit record because I will be moving house again shortly.’
      • ‘He had never had an accident before and had previously had a completely clean driving record.’
      • ‘The key is to build a backend that is capable of transaction processing as well as maintaining a clean record on necessary compliances.’
      • ‘Legal considerations such as the fact that the culprit has a clean record should not be used as mitigating factors, she contended.’
      • ‘He also has a full clean driver's licence with no endorsements.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But I've heard that I should check my credit report to make sure my record is clean.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was known to Dutch police but had a clean record there.’
      • ‘Only those with clean records must be sponsored by the recruiting agencies.’
      • ‘She noted that the young man was unemployed and had a clean record.’
      • ‘Critics of the previous system also point out that in terms of escaping prisoners, the state escort service had far from a clean record.’
    3. 2.3 Played or done according to the rules.
      ‘it was a good clean fight’
      • ‘We live in a clinically clean society with rules and regulations.’
      • ‘I would also like to thank the associations for fighting a clean campaign in this constituency.’
      • ‘This kind of mentality has led many previously clean officials to try their luck before their retirement.’
      • ‘Both parties walk away with a clean reputation and no animus toward the other.’
      • ‘This game is what cup games are all about: spirit, fight, clean football and a little bit of heroism to round it all off.’
      • ‘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 mostly adopted trade sales to maximize revenues, and they were generally clean, despite occasional slip ups.’
      • ‘True to the formalities of leadership races, all the candidates stated they want a clean fight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They were clean, capable and were supported by the people.’
      • ‘From the start, his clean image was substantially soiled because of a real estate speculation case his elder brother was involved in.’
      • ‘Buyers should ensure that the registration and tax papers are in order and the status of ownership is clean.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are a number of them who are pure and clean, and are keen to keep the pride of being a police officer.’
      • ‘But his wife sent back the fish to avoid rumours, and she wrote advising him to be an honest and clean official.’
      • ‘Notwithstanding the fact that we are still a young democracy, the country can score more marks by politicians running clean campaigns.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Market economics and the rule of law demand clean government.’
      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.
      • ‘Nearly 78 per cent of the respondents claimed that they were not smokers, not on alcohol or drugs - a clean set.’
      • ‘My dad used to do drugs, but he has been clean for four years.’
      • ‘He was clean for two years after leaving jail - where he'd spent 12 years and gained a heroin habit.’
      • ‘We've got loads of drug counsellors but nobody is getting clean.’
      • ‘Say the parents are clean and at least one of them is employed, but the couple still can't find affordable housing.’
      • ‘This article is to tell clean people that they should avoid involvement with drugs.’
      • ‘Later, after his mother was clean, she warned Jim ceaselessly about the dangers of drugs, warnings that he heeded.’
      • ‘Smith said the substance can be used to make drug tests come up clean and that he was taking it to his cousin.’
      • ‘Once someone seeks help they need constant care until they are clean - and this must come with tolerance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is a perception among young people that cocaine is a clean safe drug - which it is not.’
      • ‘Although I have been clean for seven years now, the craving still remains.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the old days, many people thought, if you can survive five years, you're clean.’
      • ‘I was clean for eight long years, before falling off last year while in Germany.’
      • ‘I've enjoyed it here and it's chapter one of my clean life.’
      • ‘I've been clean for four years because I'm a mother.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm going to meetings every day and learning that when I'm clean, I'm a winner.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
    • ‘Scissors should cut smooth and clean, right where you aim them.’
    • ‘On the left is the smooth, clean surface of the new dam that has turned part of the Colorado River into a lake.’
    • ‘They also can be washed to ensure that the next slab or tilt panel has a clean edge.’
    • ‘I got started and cut a clean, smooth curve along the front of the desk, surprising my dad, but not I.’
    • ‘The main objective of the wadcutter design is to cut a nice clean hole in a paper target.’
    • ‘Also, wires, especially for gas metal-arc welding, must have clean, smooth surfaces.’
    • ‘In addition, they create a clean edge to a planting scheme and disguise the unsightly lower section of many herbaceous perennials.’
    • ‘There's a fracture on the elbow area, and it appears that it's a clean fracture, so it looks like it will heal.’
    • ‘They have been scoured and polished to such a smooth clean finish that scarcely one fine white thread of ligament remains between the joints.’
    • ‘When positioning the drywall panel, align the top of each panel with the ceiling edge or the angle break to assure a clean edge.’
    • ‘The patented coring tine cuts clean cores at the surface and shatters the soil below.’
    • ‘Some of the breakdown showed very clean fracture surfaces, looking very fresh.’
    • ‘Once you have the base removed use a smooth bastard file to make the edges nice and clean and free of burrs.’
    • ‘Steel forms require more attention to ensure a clean, smooth surface.’
    • ‘Such a clean penetration could have been caused only by a high speed projectile, such as rifle bullet.’
    1. 3.1 Having a simple, well-defined, and pleasing shape.
      ‘the clean lines and pared-down planes of modernism’
      • ‘The cabin has clean, simple lines and seems very user-friendly.’
      • ‘The simple white walls and clean lines of the store, he says, have the effect of allowing you to see the products clearly.’
      • ‘She chose few pieces of furniture and selected items that have clean, simple lines, like the house itself.’
      • ‘The design of the paper was clean, if rather text-heavy.’
      • ‘Scandinavia: the home of everything pure, sleek, clean and earthy.’
      • ‘The artistic style in some cases overshadows the writings, no matter how clean and legible the writings are.’
      • ‘Inspired by the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, classic rooms have clean, simple lines and formal symmetry.’
      • ‘He likes clean, simple lines but also creates interesting effects by using contrasting timbers such as walnut and maple.’
      • ‘The only thing that breaks its clean lines is the paper tray, which drops open from the front of the unit.’
      • ‘That aesthetic would require clean, simple lines, and no fussiness.’
      • ‘They're very thin and delicate, with elegant slender stems and a simple, clean design.’
      • ‘The clean lines and the simple shapes are compelling in their quiet beauty and grace.’
      • ‘The pieces are simple, with clean lines and few projecting gadgets such as drawer handles.’
      • ‘Linen looks best in simple shapes, with clean geometric lines.’
      • ‘Shapes are clean and simple, patterns bold and striking and details subtle but sharp.’
      • ‘There's certainly nothing odd about his simple structure, with its clean lines and elegant agrarian forms.’
      • ‘You may roll your eyes at the design of these pages, but at least they're fairly clean.’
      • ‘The opening menu interface is clean with simple, well-delineated choices - go into the robot lab or go into the arena.’
      • ‘This urban contemporary collection keeps things in perspective with simple forms, clean lines and subtle shapes.’
      • ‘The magnificent master bedroom is elegantly curved in shape, has clean sweeping lines and luxurious en-suite facilities.’
      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’
      • ‘His clean movements cut through the waves, barely disturbing the surface; almost as if he were born to water and not the land.’
      • ‘As far as his routes, he runs clean routes and can catch almost anything.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Leading up to the 9th frame of their title match, the two left-handers had bowled clean games.’
      • ‘A clean catch and drive provided the platform for a march to the line and the winning try.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The windows are attached to the panel using rivets, which makes for a smooth, clean installation.’
      • ‘The smooth, clean stroke is there, along with her glistening apprehension of sun and weather.’
      • ‘And I'm always impressed how they manage to make kissing look so clean and synchronised in the movies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After a few minutes, she got the gist of it, and was making smooth clean strokes.’
      • ‘In the musicals, the performances were very clean, and flowed smoothly and the acting was natural and often sparked laughter.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘Her voice is pure, clean, vivid, with the flexibility and colors demanded in Verdi.’
    • ‘Sydney's top ten rate among the best in the world if your tastes are for fresh ingredients, unpretentious culinary achievement and clean tastes.’
    • ‘More gravel than flint, it has a clean, lime-tinged wash and a zesty finish.’
    • ‘This elegant and lithe New Zealand Riesling is crisp and cool answer, with a wash of clean lime and light nut notes.’
    • ‘The stew was spiked with still-crisp bits of green pepper and onion, and had a clean taste of fresh vegetables.’
    • ‘She had a clean, pure voice, only filled with oodles of emotion.’
    • ‘If only it had remixed the monaural soundtrack into something with more depth, but the audio is clean and clear in any case.’
    • ‘The wash is clean, nicely acidic with a lovely limey mid-palate.’
    • ‘The songs are washed in earnest clean rhythm guitar and nice, glimmering production.’
    • ‘The audio is clean and clear, conveying voices and sound effects with equal ease.’
    • ‘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 clean, fresh tastes so lively and vibrant in the starters were nowhere to be had here.’
    • ‘Their sound is clean and high energy and their performance is confident and sharp.’
    • ‘Eating asparagus on the day it is picked is a truly special experience, the fresh clean flavour just sings.’
    • ‘The guitars plug in and the amps come to life with a clean thread of pure rock.’
    • ‘This simple natural Thai soup offers fresh clean flavours that fuse the taste that is Thai cuisine.’
    • ‘The tamilok, its fans swear, has a fresh clean taste that sends shivers of pleasure down one's alimentary canal.’
    • ‘Fresh fish should have firm, springy flesh, a clear color, a moist look, and a clean smell.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The taster monitors first whether the wine smells fresh and clean, or whether any off-odours indicate the presence of a wine fault.’

adverb

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

    ‘the room had been washed clean’
    • ‘She stripped down to just a shift, scrubbing clean the clothes that she'd been wearing.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘Before entering the Wellington's special care baby unit they had to scrub their hands clean and cover themselves in protective overalls.’
    • ‘Bodybuilding itself could use a strong storm to blow through and wash it clean.’
    • ‘I wondered if we could get far enough south for a warm rain to wash me clean.’
    • ‘It won't scrub your insides clean, but it may help and it feels good.’
    • ‘He'd scrubbed the tires clean before bringing it home so she wouldn't know he hadn't bought it new.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With one hand, you pour the water and with the other, you wash yourself clean.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Soapy wash bags are also great for scrubbing the kids clean, and softening the skin at the same time.’
    • ‘It disgusted me so much to even think about them that I ran to the washroom and washed them clean.’
    • ‘There is nothing like a morning under the brine to scrub clean a tired and mucky heart and head.’
    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’
      • ‘If you're going to make the effort to eat clean and spend your precious time at the gym, at least train like you mean it.’
      • ‘If you're already a dedicated bodybuilder, eating clean is part of your life.’
      • ‘Being body-conscious and eating clean can definitely test your willpower, especially at this time of the year.’
      • ‘I try to eat clean during the week.’
      • ‘Eight to nine months out of the year, he eats clean.’
      • ‘You'll need to eat clean throughout the week: no fast food or processed foods and limited dietary fat.’
      • ‘Eat clean whenever possible, but don't make too many sacrifices.’
      • ‘I've always placed a priority on staying in shape, eating clean, lifting weights consistently and doing cardio.’
      • ‘I've always kind of been a jock, but the last year I really got into seriously eating six times a day, eating clean, being regimented with my exercising and my lifting and that kind of stuff.’
      • ‘Gearing up for competition meant eating clean and lean.’
  • 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 opened his mouth while he pulled one of his hands free from its pocket, and flicked his eyes clean across my face.’
    • ‘He dropped to the floor and swept his adversary's feet clean away.’
    • ‘It knocked the victims clean into the air.’
    • ‘He got up, landed some nice shots then finished his foe with a ridiculous counter right hand that knocked him clean out.’
    • ‘The ferocious second-half free kick which lifted him clean off his feet was impressive.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 Statue of Liberty clean off its pedestal before soundlessly swallowing her up.’
    • ‘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]
  • 1Make (something or someone) free of dirt, marks, or mess, especially by washing, wiping, or brushing.

    ‘clean your teeth properly after meals’
    ‘Anne will help with the cleaning’
    ‘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’
    • ‘You may be required to clean the property and tidy the garden before leaving.’
    • ‘Always wash your hands or clean them with a hand-wipe immediately before and after eating a meal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The first conservation step is to clean the surface of dirt and loose accumulations with water and detergent applied under high pressure.’
    • ‘When we emerged, I grabbed some leaves off a nearby plant to clean the dirt off my hands.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It can be easier to clean their teeth if you cradle your baby's head in your arms in front of you.’
    • ‘With a cloth from the windowsill, he began to clean the crumbly dirt from his find.’
    • ‘Spyware protection software helps you to completely clean your computer of invasive threats.’
    • ‘You were to dust my bookshelves and wash the windows and clean the carpets twice a week.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Have a dentist clean your teeth to get rid of tobacco stains and decide to keep them looking like that.’
    • ‘Use vodka, gin, or any pure alcohol to erase lipstick stains from your collar, or to clean paint or ink stains from your carpet.’
    • ‘After refreshing up his information on the case, he had enough time to finish up his other reports and clean his desk.’
    • ‘Gum disease happens when plaque builds up because the teeth are not cleaned properly.’
    • ‘I will stamp my foot until the city rises into the sky and the dirt and filth is cleaned away.’
    • ‘People can't wash themselves or clean their places and this becomes a breeding place of diseases.’
    • ‘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, sluice, sluice down, flush, polish, disinfect
    launder
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Remove the innards of (fish or poultry) prior to cooking.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even George, when he had taught her how to clean a fish, hadn't felt the same.’
      • ‘Taking out a small knife, she began to clean the fish.’
      • ‘Three hours later, we'll return to clean fish, fry fish and eat fish.’
      • ‘Let the fishmonger scale, clean and gut the fish (I leave the head on).’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For another, the pier isn't an ideal place to clean fish because it lacks a table, running water and a garbage can.’
      • ‘Occasionally we'd give them to a neighbor, but my mother wouldn't clean fish so it was almost always a waste.’
      • ‘The answer greatly depends on how often a person cleans fish, how many fish they clean and the species and size of those fish.’
      • ‘Ten minutes later, they began to gut and clean the fish.’
      • ‘It spends a good portion showing how to clean almost every fish imaginable.’
      • ‘She sat down on the log and she just waited for him to carry on with cleaning the fish.’
      • ‘She said her boys had fishing rods, a net and knives to clean the fish they caught.’
      gut, eviscerate, remove the innards of, draw, dress
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • (as) clean as a whistle

    • 1Extremely clean or clear.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An abdominal computerized tomographic scan was clean as a whistle except for a fatty liver, and a gallbladder hepatobiliary scan also was negative.’
      • ‘The colors are crisp and clear, the picture as clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.’
      • ‘I insisted Jon have a CT scan, a calcium scan, and he came up clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘Technically, Owen Moriarty's playing is as clean as a whistle with tonally strong projection.’
      • ‘Well no, but its excellent rollaway hood, complete with dinky peak, keeps you dry and clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘More importantly for our purposes, the all-digital source material transfers to DVD clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I think some actors probably find it frustrating, because he likes things clean as a whistle, unadorned, and unemotional, generally speaking.’
      • ‘The next morning your kettle will be 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’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘But that does not mean the remainder of the existing commercial loan portfolio is as clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘She's as clean as a whistle, but you, you obviously had something to do with this mess.’
        • ‘He is as clean as a whistle, so darn popular and a Christian to boot.’
        • ‘British agriculture on the whole is as clean as a whistle, compared to some other parts of Europe.’
        • ‘The computer is as clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘Are the other political parties immune to this disease and therefore as clean as a whistle in this regard?’
        • ‘Thereafter Abbey should have a business as clean as a whistle, enabling it to focus on its personal financial services side.’
        • ‘Even if you're clean as a whistle, you're guilty by association.’
        • ‘‘This is as clean as a whistle,’ Welch said in October at a press conference announcing the purchase.’
        • ‘As far as I can tell, Jeremy Luke's as clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘If he was clean as a whistle, would they be willing to do this?’
        • ‘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."’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Similarly, those seeking to control crime, and raise consequential consumer confidence, must appear to be clean as a whistle.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘I'm not saying I was clean as a whistle back then, but I did learn to read music.’
        • ‘‘[This] is a blow-by-blow fight… in the trenches of bureaucracy,’ cautions Githongo, who is known to be clean as a whistle.’
  • 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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘The impact knocked me unconscious and from what I've heard, a few more bombs cleaned my clock.’
      • ‘I tried talking to him, he had nothin’ but mumbles, so I cleaned his clock with a solid left.’
      • ‘I want names buster or I am going to come down there and personally clean your clock.’
      • ‘Maybe I should invest in a hemp shirt reading ‘Don't knock my smock, or I'll clean your clock.’’
      1. 1.1Defeat or surpass someone decisively.
        • ‘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 heard that the new kid who just moved into the old dojo cleaned your clock.’
        • ‘To me, there is nothing better - and I'm only talking about in athletics now - than absolutely cleaning someone's clock.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Every so often, the enemy presents himself and at every instance he does that, we clean his clock.’
        • ‘He cleaned his clock in the French debate.’
        • ‘Sure we have taken some casualties, but the people we are fighting are criminals, terrorists, and punks and we are cleaning their clock.’
        • ‘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.

      • ‘A man will do almost anything not to cook, wash dishes, or clean 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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘What about those few of us who don't find fulfillment in cleaning house?’
      • ‘Yard work, cleaning house and washing cars are good exercise.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They earned a few pennies an hour, but that was more than they could make in the fields or cleaning house.’
      • ‘Here's one more well-off woman playing at cleaning house while real women are out there struggling.’
      • ‘In most families, women care for the children, clean house, do the marketing, cook meals, wash dishes and clothes, and carry wood and water.’
      • ‘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.’
      1. 1.1Eliminate corruption or inefficiency.
        ‘unless our organization cleans house, it will be difficult to raise funds’
        • ‘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 came to a club torn apart by in-fighting and cleaned house.’
        • ‘You, Sheila, are the perfect person to be the broom that cleans house in our sports establishments.’
        • ‘He added: ‘The president needs to clean house and wipe away the senior executives of the intelligence agency.’’
        • ‘He was determined to become the real head of the Intelligence Community and to clean house at CIA by eliminating deadwood and cutting costs.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Unless he cleans house, his will be the Edsel presidency.’
        • ‘Now, most Japanese fund managers have cleaned house.’
        • ‘Dozens of advisors to the late leader have been fired in a shakeup to clean house of corrupt administrators.’
        • ‘The official party newspaper attributed the success to efforts to rejuvenate and clean house.’
  • clean one's plate

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

      • ‘I continued to tell her about the new policy they issued and just let the conversation drop at that point by cleaning my plate.’
      • ‘I took a tentative bite and then cleaned my plate.’
      • ‘I cleaned my plate, to the point of taking a corn tortilla and mopping up the last cheesy queso smear.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What gain comes from you cleaning your plate?’
      • ‘It wasn't until I'd cleaned my plate that I thought to check if there were any adzuki beans.’
      • ‘When I was growing up my parents would not allow me to leave the dinner table without cleaning my 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 leave a lot on the plate because I need not clean my plate.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘They have no interest, my friends, in coming clean and being honest with the American people.’
      • ‘When is somebody going to come clean and reveal the real hidden agenda?’
      • ‘If the department wants transformation targets met, then they must be honest and come clean about this.’
      • ‘And I figured the only way to get him to come clean would be if I came clean first.’
      • ‘Even he finally comes clean with an honest assessment of his shipmates and it's not complimentary.’
      • ‘The highways authorities must come clean and tell all road users what is wrong, and what they are doing to put it right.’
      • ‘One cannot help but be impressed by this seasoned politician's adeptness at the art of coming clean without coming clean.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘She said he refused to come clean to the police, saying it would cost him his job.’
      tell the truth, be completely honest, tell all, make a clean breast of it
      View synonyms
  • have clean hands

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

      ‘no one involved in the conflict has clean hands’
      • ‘Real institutions, real governments, and real leaders will never have clean hands in a dirty world.’
      • ‘I don't think many people have clean hands when it comes to bullying, and nor should we pretend to.’
      • ‘As a society, I would love to think that we are humble, righteous, and that our hands are clean.’
      • ‘Neither side, however, can claim to have clean hands.’
      • ‘No region of the world has been spared it and very few people have 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.’
      • ‘We are the only party that can come along and say we have clean hands.’
      • ‘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.’
  • keep one's hands clean

    • Not involve oneself in an immoral act.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This means they can keep their hands clean at all times.’
      • ‘They believed you could be a key player in international politics yet keep your hands clean.’
      • ‘You can keep your hands clean, or you can keep many more people alive.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But her desire to keep her hands clean of them was also, one suspects, an act of self preservation.’
      • ‘He probably did this all the time, watched innocent people die while keeping his hands clean.’
      • ‘You may throw it yourself or you may arrange for it to be leaked in a manner that will keep your hands clean.’
      • ‘When the chips were down the game's governing body refused to get involved and preferred to keep their hands clean.’
  • keep one's nose clean

    • informal Stay out of trouble.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But if you kept your nose clean and got on with your life, they left you alone.’
      • ‘To get there, though, he must keep his nose clean.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A judge promised to clean the slate after the Virginia Beach incident - provided he kept his nose clean for a year, which he did.’
      • ‘He can continue to practice law but must keep his nose clean.’
      • ‘Sienna is a real threat because she's younger - and has kept her nose clean.’
      • ‘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 job of something

    • informal Do something thoroughly.

      • ‘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!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Operations this season were to make a clean job of it, and salvage was small.’
      • ‘In the old days the nobility would tip the headsman to 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!’
      • ‘Here, pros discuss efficient ways to make a clean job of it.’
      • ‘It may take some file edits as well 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.’
      • ‘However, the witches were not particularly preoccupied with making a clean job of things.’
  • 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’
      • ‘The broom, for example, appears ready to make a clean sweep.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it.’
      • ‘The 1977 Act did not, however, accomplish a clean sweep of common law conspiracy.’
      • ‘No Government has so far succeeded in making a clean sweep of maladies affecting our police.’
      • ‘He made a clean sweep by removing all the interior walls and covering the outer walls and ceiling in white Venetian plaster.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To get investors the best prices, it needs to make a clean sweep of barriers that impede trading.’
    • 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’
      • ‘York and District Indoor Bowls Club enjoyed a clean sweep in the Yorkshire League, the Hebden Trophy and the North Eastern League.’
      • ‘It was Cooke's first appearance at the Sportcity venue since making a clean sweep of the national youth titles over seven years ago.’
      • ‘Dundalk anglers made a clean sweep of the prizes in the Danes Cast Firshery's New Year's Day Competition.’
      • ‘The Triple Crown also came as part of Wales' victory package amid a clean sweep of honours in European rugby's blue riband event.’
      • ‘England were dreaming of the Grand Slam today after completing the third leg of a potential Six Nations Championship clean sweep.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Royal College tennis players made a clean sweep at the Inter-School tennis championships by winning all six titles on offer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thus he made a clean sweep of all the events he participated in.’
      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
  • make a clean breast of something (or make a clean breast of it)

    • Confess fully one's mistakes or wrongdoings.

      • ‘Let's make a clean breast of it so we can start the day anew filled with love.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I can think of no reason why you should not make a clean breast of it.’
      • ‘I reckon you need to wipe the slate, mate, make a clean breast of it, so to speak.’
      • ‘Tell all, make a clean breast of it, say what it is.’
      • ‘But we will be demanding they make a clean breast of it as soon as possible.’
      • ‘If he has had an extramarital affair, he ought to make a clean breast of it.’
      • ‘If any would care to make a clean breast of it, incidentally, we're willing to listen.’
      • ‘Why don't they make a clean breast of it and say, ‘Look, ladies and gentlemen, we're really not dealing in news.’’
      tell the truth, be completely honest, tell all, make a clean breast of it
      View synonyms
  • wipe the slate clean

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Serialism was vital in the way it wiped the slate clean, invoking a new year zero where everything would be up for grabs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Off to the big city to seek her fortune; to escape her past, her burnt bridges; to wipe the slate clean.’
      • ‘To let things go, to wipe the slate clean, to forgive, to forget.’
      • ‘But until you can get credit again, you cannot prove you have wiped the slate clean.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He wrote: ‘Let bygones be bygones, wipe the slate clean and work toward peace.’’
      • ‘We are going to wipe the slate clean and go back to the drawing board.’
      • ‘We're the new owners with new ideas and we're making a fresh start and we're going to wipe the slate clean.’
      • ‘Can we please just wipe the slate clean and get a new government?’
      • ‘Well, we at the Olympics have decided to forget all that, wipe the slate clean and put them to an impartial test.’
      • ‘I wanted to start afresh, to wipe the slate clean and forget about the endless mother-daughter feud, and finally let go of Ellum.’
      • ‘We attempted to wipe the slate clean, and start afresh.’
      • ‘However, due to a recovery plan now in force, they hope to have wiped the slate clean by March, 2005.’
      • ‘A glorious, annually renewed opportunity to use as you please: you can wipe the slate clean, right past wrongs, reinvent yourself entirely!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With each new year comes a fresh start, a chance to wipe the slate clean, to make way for a happier, healthier, better you.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So, he'd moved him and his sister to Atlanta, in the hopes that he could start fresh, 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’
      • ‘Although you might question the appeal of visiting a town dedicated to cleaning you out, you shouldn't write off Las Vegas.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Spend the same amount of time and money at the slots or the tables, and you could be cleaned out.’
      • ‘It wasn't your fault that your wife left, cleaning you out.’
      • ‘They also took some electrical equipment that I'd got for my birthday and cleaned me out of all my gold.’
      • ‘We cleaned them out at midfield but missed four goal chances.’
      • ‘Music students gearing up to make a bid for pop superstardom suffered a major setback when thieves cleaned them out.’
      • ‘I think they were cleaned out of balls, gloves and any little trinket that the kids could prise out of them.’
      • ‘I had five dollars in my pocket when I sat down at the table and they cleaned me out.’
      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
      View synonyms
  • clean up

    • 1Make things or an area clean or neat.

      ‘he was in the kitchen, cleaning up’
      • ‘She then hears them cleaning up their areas and leaving the room.’
      • ‘Or is he taking on a very big job down there, as the president's viceroy for cleaning up that area?’
      • ‘To some extent, the decline may reflect real progress in areas like cleaning up rivers and streams.’
      • ‘I sat and slowly the crowd dissolved and soon there was no one there except the crew that was cleaning up the unloading area.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After eating, both women and men engaged in the dancing and, before leaving, in the cleaning up of the area the family occupied.’
      • ‘On the lower end of the priority list would be identifying high interest areas and cleaning up the safety awards program.’
      • ‘After her work was finished, she cleaned up the kitchen area and returned to her room.’
    • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Geraldton cleaned up at the recent WA Tidy Towns Competitions, taking out five awards.’
      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.’
      • ‘Conversations were cleaned up and no one eye-balled the waitresses.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 owner of garages plagued by arson attacks and used as a drinking den has been ordered to clean them up or pull them down.’

Origin

Old English clǣne, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German klein ‘small’.

Pronunciation

clean

/klin//klēn/