verb (used with object), clued, clu·ing.
- to provide with useful or reliable information: Clue us in on how these forms are to be filled out.
- to make familiar or aware: Has she been clued in about the rules of this office?
Origin of clue
- to be completely baffled
- to be completely ignorant or incompetent
verb clues, cluing or clued
Word Origin for clue
1590s, spelling variant of clew "a ball of thread or yarn," in this sense with reference to the one Theseus used as a guide out of the Labyrinth. The purely figurative sense of "that which points the way" is from 1620s. As something which a bewildered person does not have, by 1948.
"to inform someone of the important facts," usually with in, 1934, from clue (n.). Related: Clued; cluing. Earlier in now-obsolete sense of "follow or track by clues" (1660s). In nautical use, "to haul up (a sail) by means of the clue-lines," from clue (n.) in the "wound ball of yarn" sense.
Also, clue up. Give someone guiding information, as in It's time someone clued us in on what's happening, or I hope they clue us up soon. This expression, which uses the verb clue in the sense of “inform,” is sometimes put simply as clue (as in I'll clue you—this isn't going to work). [Colloquial; mid-1900s] Also see not have a clue.