Definition of clean house in US English:

clean house


North American
  • 1Do housework.

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