adjective, clear·er, clear·est.
- (of an l-sound) having front-vowel resonance; situated before a vowel in the same syllable.Compare dark(def 16a).
- (of a speech sound) produced without frication or aspiration.
adverb, clear·er, clear·est.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to comply with customs and other requirements legally imposed on entering or leaving a port (often followed by in or out).
- to leave port after having complied with such requirements.
- to remove in order to make room.
- to leave; escape: We were warned to clear off before the floods came.
- to disappear; vanish: When the smoke cleared away, we saw that the house was in ruins.
- to remove the contents of: Clear out the closet.
- to remove; take away: Clear out your clothes from the closet.
- to go away, especially quickly or abruptly.
- to drive or force out: The police cleared out the pickets by force.
- to make clear; explain; solve.
- to put in order; tidy up.
- to become better or brighter, as the weather.
- cleansing tissue,
- clear and present danger,
- clear as a bell,
- clear as crystal,
- clear as mud,
- clear away
- absolved of blame or guilt; free: He was suspected of the theft, but evidence put him in the clear.
- en clair.
Origin of clear
- free of suspicion, guilt, or blame
- sport able to receive a pass without being tackled
- (of the weather) to become free from dullness, fog, rain, etc
- (of mist, fog, etc) to disappear
- to achieve transmission of (a signalled message) and acknowledgment of its receipt at its destination
- to decode (a message, etc)
Word Origin for clear
late 13c., "bright," from Old French cler "clear" (of sight and hearing), "light, bright, shining; sparse" (12c., Modern French clair), from Latin clarus "clear, loud," of sounds; figuratively "manifest, plain, evident," in transferred use, of sights, "bright, distinct;" also "illustrious, famous, glorious" (source of Italian chiaro, Spanish claro), from PIE *kle-ro-, from root *kele- (2) "to shout" (see claim (v.)).
The sense evolution involves an identification of the spreading of sound and the spreading of light (cf. English loud, used of colors; German hell "clear, bright, shining," of pitch, "distinct, ringing, high"). Of complexion, from c.1300; of the weather, from late 14c.; of meanings or explanations, "manifest to the mind, comprehensible," c.1300. (An Old English word for this was sweotol "distinct, clear, evident.") Sense of "free from encumbrance," apparently nautical, developed c.1500. Phrase in the clear attested from 1715. Clear-sighted is from 1580s (clear-eyed is from 1529s); clear-headed is from 1709.
late 14c., "to fill with light," from clear (adj.). Of weather, from late 14c. Meaning "make clear in the mind" is mid-15c., as is sense of "to remove what clouds." Meaning "to prove innocent" is from late 15c. Meaning "get rid of" is from 1530s.
Meaning "to free from entanglement" is from 1590s; that of "pass without entanglement" is from 1630s. Meaning "to leap clear over" is first attested 1791. Meaning "get approval for" (a proposal, etc.) is from 1944; meaning "establish as suitable for national security work" is from 1948. Related: Cleared; clearing.
To clear (one's) throat is from 1881; earlier clear (one's) voice (1701). To clear out "depart, leave" (1825), perhaps is from the notion of ships satisfying customs, harbor regulations, etc., then setting sail. To clear up is from 1620s, of weather; 1690s as "make clear to the mind." Clear the decks is what is done on a ship before it moves.
"quite, entirely, wholly," c.1300, from clear (adj.).
See clear out, def. 1.
Become clear after cloudiness, fog, etc., as in I hope this fog clears off before morning. This phrase, first recorded in 1816, is heard less often today, clear alone often sufficing (I hope the fog clears). Also see clear up.
In addition to the idioms beginning with clear
- clear as a bell
- clear as crystal
- clear as mud
- clear away
- clear off
- clear one's name
- clear out
- clear the air
- clear the decks
- clear the table
- clear up
- clear with
- coast is clear
- free and clear
- have a clear conscience
- in the clear
- loud and clear
- out of a clear blue sky
- see one's way (clear)
- steer clear of