Origin of cleaning
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 cleaningsterilization, washing, sanitation, purification, prophylaxis, dusting, ablution, purge, catharsis, purgation, sweeping, scrubbing, scouring, disinfection, antisepsis
Examples from the Web for cleaning
Contemporary Examples of cleaning
One day he and some of his roommates were cleaning their room and one of the guys threw the dustpan out into the hall.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
Nothing much to use in cleaning up the baby and his mother after the birth, no place to dispose of the placenta.Jesus Wasn’t Born Rich. Think About It.
December 25, 2014
It also means not having to stress about cleaning out your DVR.Four TV Shows We Can’t Wait to Return In 2015
December 22, 2014
We coo over how cute our cat is and minimize the drudgery of cleaning the litter box.Why Didn’t Camille Dump Bill Cosby?
December 17, 2014
After cleaning up the copious amount of blood on my body in a bathroom, I found my clothing and got dressed.I Was Gang Raped at a UVA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything
December 16, 2014
Historical Examples of cleaning
He preferred to do this, rather than to go at once to work at the sweeping and cleaning.Rico and Wiseli
Hubert was occupied the whole forenoon in cleaning the front of the old building.The Dream
Then, oiling and cleaning it, he took some cartridges and set up a mark to shoot at.Frank Roscoe's Secret
All you know is that Fyles wants to send me down, by way of cleaning up this valley.The Law-Breakers
Recreation: Filling his fountain pen or cleaning typewriter.Who Was Who: 5000 B. C. to Date
- (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