[kleer-kuht for 1, 2; kleer-kuht for 3–5]


formed with or having clearly defined outlines: a face with clear-cut features.
unambiguously clear; completely evident; definite: His sale of secrets was a clear-cut example of treachery.
of or relating to a section of forest where all trees have been cut down for harvesting.


a section of forest where all trees have been cut down for harvesting.

verb (used with object), clear-cut, clear-cut·ting.

to fell all the trees in (a section of forest) for harvesting.

Also clear cut, clear·cut (for defs 3–5).

Origin of clear-cut

First recorded in 1850–55
Related formsclear-cut·ness, noun

Synonyms for clear-cut Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clear-cut

Contemporary Examples of clear-cut

Historical Examples of clear-cut

  • His clear-cut features, always handsome, were grand in sleep.

  • He flung back his head, and there was defiance in every line of his clear-cut face.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • He hesitated, but when his words came they were clear-cut and stern.

    The Coyote

    James Roberts

  • His English was not thick, but all clear-cut, as though it came from a phonograph.

    "Captains Courageous"

    Rudyard Kipling

  • These were not clear-cut problems of the kind he had been dealing with all his life.

    But, I Don't Think

    Gordon Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for clear-cut


adjective (clear cut when postpositive)

definite; not vaguea clear-cut proposal
clearly outlined


(tr) another term for clear-fell
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