[adjective klen-lee; adverb kleen-lee]

adjective, clean·li·er, clean·li·est.

personally neat; careful to keep or make clean: The cat is by nature a cleanly animal.
habitually kept clean.
Obsolete. cleansing; making clean.


in a clean manner.

Origin of cleanly

before 900; Middle English clenlich(e), Old English clǣnlīc, equivalent to clǣne clean + -līc -ly
Related formsclean·li·ness [klen-lee-nis] /ˈklɛn li nɪs/, noun
Can be confusedcleanliness cleanness Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cleanliness

Contemporary Examples of cleanliness

Historical Examples of cleanliness

British Dictionary definitions for cleanliness


adverb (ˈkliːnlɪ)

in a fair manner
easily or smoothlythe screw went into the wood cleanly

adjective (ˈklɛnlɪ) -lier or -liest

habitually clean or neat
Derived Formscleanlily (ˈklɛnlɪlɪ), adverbcleanliness (ˈklɛnlɪnɪs), noun
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

Word Origin and History for cleanliness

early 15c., from cleanly + -ness.

Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness. [John Wesley, Sermon "On Dress," c.1791]



Old English clænlic "morally pure, innocent," from clæne (see clean (adj.)). Of persons, "habitually clean," from c.1500.



Old English clænlice; see clean (adj.) + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper