Definition of clear something up in US English:

clear something up

phrasal verb

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

    ‘he decided to clear up his garage’
    ‘I keep meaning to come down here and clear up’
    • ‘A new volunteer clean-up team has vowed to clear up litter hotspots.’
    • ‘They also want the council to clear up the area, and remove abandoned cars.’
    • ‘An obsessively tidy man, he clears up after Elizabeth cooks.’
    • ‘Archaeologists clear up and tidy the remains of the past.’
    • ‘Rather than spend their time hanging around on street corners, they can be found scouring their estates for litter, clearing up play areas and planting bulbs.’
    • ‘They have responsibilities for clearing up and keeping areas clean.’
    • ‘Residents and traders are responsible for clearing up afterwards and people have commented that the street is cleaner in the morning.’
    • ‘A field on the borders of Southend and Rochford has become a dangerous rubbish tip and should be cleared up immediately, a councillor said.’
    • ‘Mr Messy was very messy and asked Mr Clean and Mr Tidy to clear up his house.’
    • ‘‘The council needs to do something about it, and I don't just mean clearing it up and moving the youths on,’ he said.’
    empty, empty out, void, make vacant
    tidy, tidy up, put in order, straighten up, clean up, put to rights, make shipshape, spruce up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Remove trash or other unwanted items to leave something tidy.
      ‘he asked the boys to clear up their mess’
      • ‘But just a few years ago the council set up its own Clean Team of paid workers to clear up rubbish around the district.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Council officers removed graffiti, cleared up rubbish from public areas, cut grass verges and repaired potholes in roads and pavements.’
      • ‘All we want is someone to come and clear up the rubbish on a regular basis.’
      • ‘Officers are also hoping to work with local authorities to get abandoned vehicles removed within 24 hours or less and settees, rubbish and refuse cleared up as soon as possible.’
      • ‘She added that when the council did collect the rubbish, they left all the loose litter and had to send a specialist team to clear it up on January 8.’
      • ‘An Epsom pensioner is so fed up with the litter he says blights Nork Park he has cleared it up himself.’
      • ‘I absolutely hate it when people throw litter like that and I often clear it up from outside my home.’
      • ‘Anyone caught not clearing up after their dog is liable to a £25 spot fine.’
      • ‘I just had to clear it up and then I made an impromptu cat litter box up with some gravel from the garden.’
      • ‘The group also proposed that businesses should promote the anti-litter message through posters in their shops and should pay to get rubbish cleared up.’
  • 2Solve or explain something.

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

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