• synonyms


  1. an act or instance of making clean: Give the house a good cleaning.
  2. Slang. an overwhelming or complete defeat, financial loss, or failure: Our team took a cleaning in yesterday's game.
  3. Informal. killing(def 3).
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Origin of cleaning

First recorded in 1655–75; clean + -ing1
Related formsself-clean·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for self-cleaning

Historical Examples

  • The carbons are large and are separated by a special compound intended to assist the self-cleaning feature.

    Cyclopedia of Telephony & Telegraphy Vol. 1

    Kempster Miller

  • In this the carbon blocks are cylindrical in form and specially treated to make them "self-cleaning."

  • They are all subjected to maintenance cycles, clean sources of energy, self-cleaning mechanisms, diagnostic routines.

  • It is self-cleaning and is easily adjusted by means of a handle on one side of the machine.

    Illustrated Catalogue of Cotton Machinery

    Howard & Bullough American Machine Company, Ltd.

  • A city's soot kills elms, they say; only plane trees, self-scaling and self-cleaning, live and grow and survive.

    A Tramp's Notebook

    Morley Roberts

British Dictionary definitions for self-cleaning


  1. (of an oven, filter, etc) having a mechanism to clean itself
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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