adjective, clean·er, clean·est.
- innocent of any crime.
- not having a criminal record.
- carrying or containing no evidence of unlawful activity or intent, as controlled substances, unlicensed weapons, or contraband: The agents searched the car for drugs, but it was clean.
- not using narcotics.
adverb, clean·er, clean·est.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to empty in order to straighten or clean.
- to use up; exhaust: He had cleaned out his savings.
- Informal.to drive out by force.
- to empty or rid (a place) of occupants, contents, etc.: Eager customers cleaned out the store on the first day of the sale. The thief cleaned out the safe.
- Slang.to cause to lose all or almost all one's money or possessions.
- to wash or tidy up.
- to rid of undesirable persons or features: They cleaned up the local bars.
- to put an end to; finish: to clean up yesterday's chores.
- Informal.to make a large profit: They cleaned up in the stock market.
- (of a sail or sails) filled with wind; rap full.
- (of a sailing vessel) with all sails full of wind; rap full.
Origin of clean
Synonyms for clean
Antonyms for clean
Related Words for cleanhygienic, unblemished, simple, clear, tidy, bright, graceful, elegant, orderly, spotless, neat, pure, blank, fresh, immaculate, wholesome, decent, good, plain, perfect
Examples from the Web for clean
Contemporary Examples of clean
With Charlie Hebdo, “you really have a clean case here,” Shearer said.Harry Shearer on The Dangerous Business of Satire
January 8, 2015
“Clean as a whistle,” says a senior investigator involved in the case.Exclusive: Inside a Cop-Killer’s Final Hours
December 31, 2014
Surprisingly Great Hotel - Clean, Tasteful.... and North Korean!Inside the ‘Surprisingly Great’ North Korean Hacker Hotel
December 20, 2014
Tank Battle Kim's death -- a clean version of Kim's Face shot (no head burning or head exploding).Sony Emails Show How the Studio Plans to Censor Kim Jong Un Assassination Comedy ‘The Interview’
December 15, 2014
For the enormous quantities of clean water that are piped in, an equal amount of sewage is piped out.The Secret to Tracking Ebola, MERS, and Flu? Sewers
November 29, 2014
Historical Examples of clean
I declare to you, miss, I'm clean worn out with havin' patience!
And the angels waiting for them on the bank like laundresses with their clean shirts!
If fish is to be cooked by steaming, first clean it thoroughly.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
Clean and cook the beets in the manner explained in Art. 73.
Clean the mushrooms that are to be broiled and remove the stems.
- (of a nuclear weapon) producing little or no radioactive fallout or contamination
- uncontaminatedCompare dirty (def. 11)
- innocent; not guilty
- not carrying illegal drugs, weapons, etc
- having its bottom clean
- having a satisfactory bill of health
- (of persons) free from ceremonial defilement
- (of animals, birds, and fish) lawful to eat
Word Origin for clean
Old English clæne "free from dirt or filth; pure, chaste, innocent; open, in the open," of beasts, "ritually safe to eat," from West Germanic *klainoz "clear, pure" (cf. Old Saxon kleni "dainty, delicate," Old Frisian klene "small," Old High German kleini "delicate, fine, small," German klein "small;" English preserves the original Germanic sense), from PIE root *gel- "bright, gleaming" (cf. Greek glene "eyeball," Old Irish gel "bright").
"Largely replaced by clear, pure in the higher senses" [Weekley], but as a verb (mid-15c.) it has largely usurped what once belonged to cleanse. Meaning "whole, entire" is from c.1300 (clean sweep in the figurative sense is from 1821). Sense of "innocent" is from c.1300; that of "not lewd" is from 1867; that of "not carrying anything forbidden" is from 1938; that of "free of drug addiction" is from 1950s. To come clean "confess" is from 1919, American English.
mid-15c., "make clean," from clean (adj.). Related: Cleaned; cleaning. From clean out "clean by emptying" comes sense of "to leave bare" (1844); cleaned-out "left penniless by losses" is from 1812.
Old English clæne "dirtlessly," also "clearly, fully, entirely;" see clean (adj.). Cf. similar use of German rein "clean."
In addition to the idioms beginning with clean
- clean as a whistle
- clean bill of health
- clean breast
- clean hands, have
- clean house
- cleanliness is next to godliness
- clean out
- clean slate
- clean someone's clock
- clean sweep
- clean up
- come clean
- have a clear (clean) conscience
- keep one's nose clean
- make a clean breast of
- make a clean sweep
- new broom sweeps clean
- take to the cleaners
- wipe the slate clean