Definition of clean house in US English:

clean house


North American
  • 1Do housework.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yard work, cleaning house and washing cars are good exercise.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In most families, women care for the children, clean house, do the marketing, cook meals, wash dishes and clothes, and carry wood and water.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They earned a few pennies an hour, but that was more than they could make in the fields or cleaning house.’
    • ‘What about those few of us who don't find fulfillment in cleaning house?’
    • ‘A man will do almost anything not to cook, wash dishes, or clean house.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘Unless he cleans house, his will be the Edsel presidency.’
      • ‘He was determined to become the real head of the Intelligence Community and to clean house at CIA by eliminating deadwood and cutting costs.’
      • ‘You, Sheila, are the perfect person to be the broom that cleans house in our sports establishments.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now, most Japanese fund managers have cleaned house.’
      • ‘He came to a club torn apart by in-fighting and cleaned house.’