Idioms for clean

Origin of clean

before 900; Middle English clene, Old English clǣne pure, clear, cognate with Old High German kleini (German klein small)

OTHER WORDS FROM clean

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH clean

clean cleanse (see synonym study at the current entry)cleanliness cleanness

synonym study for clean

1. Clean, clear, pure refer to freedom from soiling, flaw, stain, or mixture. Clean refers especially to freedom from soiling: a clean shirt. Clear refers particularly to freedom from flaw or blemish: a clear pane of glass. Pure refers especially to freedom from mixture or stain: a pure metal; not diluted but pure and full strength. 35. Clean, cleanse refer to removing dirt or impurities. To clean is the general word with no implication of method or means: to clean windows, a kitchen, streets. Cleanse is especially used of thorough cleaning by chemical or other technical process; figuratively it applies to moral or spiritual purification: to cleanse parts of machinery; to cleanse one's soul of guilt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for clean up (1 of 2)

clean up

verb (adverb)

to rid (something) of dirt, filth, or other impurities
to make (someone or something) orderly or presentable
(tr) to rid (a place) of undesirable people or conditionsthe campaign against vice had cleaned up the city
(intr) informal to make a great profit

noun cleanup

  1. the process of cleaning up or eliminating something
  2. (as modifier)a cleanup campaign
informal, mainly US a great profit

British Dictionary definitions for clean up (2 of 2)

Derived forms of clean

cleanable, adjectivecleanness, noun

Word Origin for clean

Old English clǣne; related to Old Frisian klēne small, neat, Old High German kleini
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with clean up (1 of 2)

clean up

1

Also, clean out. Make clean or orderly, as in She cleaned up the cellar after the flood, or Dad said he cleaned out the garage. [First half of 1800s]

2

Also, wash up. Wash or tidy oneself, as in Do I have time to clean up before dinner?

3

Settle or dispose of, as in He cleaned up all the bills that had arrived during his vacation.

4

Bring to a certain standard of order or morality, as in This script won't do; we'll have to clean up the language. Applied to personal behavior, it also is put as clean up one's act, as in He'll have to clean up his act and obey the rules. [c. 1900]

5

Succeed, especially financially, as in We had fantastic luck at the races and really cleaned up. [Slang; first half of 1800s]

6

Also, clean up on. Defeat or vanquish, kill, as in We're cleaning up all the other teams, or With enough ammunition we could clean up on this pocket of snipers. [Slang; mid-1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with clean up (2 of 2)

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

also see:

  • 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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.