WATCH NOW: Why Is It So Hard To Keep Things Clean?
WATCH NOW: Why Is It So Hard To Keep Things Clean?
No matter how many times you clean something, it always gets dirty again. Why?! Well, actually, that unobtainable sense of perfection goes all the way back to this word's origin. Take a look.MORE VIDEOS FROM DICTIONARY.COM
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.
- clayton-bulwer treaty,
- clean and jerk,
- clean as a whistle,
- clean bill of health,
- clean breast,
- clean eating
- (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
Examples from the Web for clean
With Charlie Hebdo, “you really have a clean case here,” Shearer said.
“Clean as a whistle,” says a senior investigator involved in the case.
Surprisingly Great Hotel - Clean, Tasteful.... and North Korean!Inside the ‘Surprisingly Great’ North Korean Hacker Hotel|Michael Daly|December 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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’|William Boot|December 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|Wudan Yan|November 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I pinned a clean towel round my neck, barber fashion, and pulling the pins out of my hair, shook it down over my shoulders.The Motor Maid|Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson
How many times must I tell you to put a clean dress on Phoebe every day?What's-His-Name|George Barr McCutcheon
See that all glue is removed from the surface, and that the wood is clean and smooth, and apply a coat of weathered oak oil stain.Mission Furniture|H. H. Windsor
Do they grow down under the water, and are they nice and clean when they are brought up, uncle?Elsie and Her Namesakes|Martha Finley
There are two ways to clean the skeletons of large mammals: by boiling the bones, and by maceration.Taxidermy and Zoological Collecting|William T. Hornaday
- (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