[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

Related Words for cleanly

clean, spotless, tidy

Examples from the Web for cleanly

Contemporary Examples of cleanly

Historical Examples of cleanly

British Dictionary definitions for cleanly


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 cleanly

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