• synonyms


[adjective klen-lee; adverb kleen-lee]
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adjective, clean·li·er, clean·li·est.
  1. personally neat; careful to keep or make clean: The cat is by nature a cleanly animal.
  2. habitually kept clean.
  3. Obsolete. cleansing; making clean.
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  1. in a clean manner.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cleanly


adverb (ˈkliːnlɪ)
  1. in a fair manner
  2. easily or smoothlythe screw went into the wood cleanly
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adjective (ˈklɛnlɪ) -lier or -liest
  1. habitually clean or neat
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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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper