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cleaner

[klee-ner]
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noun
  1. a person who cleans, especially one whose regular occupation is cleaning offices, buildings, equipment, etc.
  2. an apparatus or machine for cleaning, as a vacuum cleaner.
  3. a preparation for use in cleaning, as a detergent or chemical bleach.
  4. the owner or operator of a dry-cleaning establishment: The cleaner said he couldn't get the spot off my coat.
  5. Usually cleaners. a dry-cleaning establishment: My suit is at the cleaners.
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Idioms
  1. take to the cleaners, Slang. to cause to lose all or a great deal of one's money or personal property, as through gambling or a bad investment: He got taken to the cleaners in the poker game last night.
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Origin of cleaner

First recorded in 1425–75, cleaner is from the late Middle English word clener. See clean, -er1
Related formspre·clean·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for take to the cleaners

cleaner

noun
  1. a person, device, chemical agent, etc, that removes dirt, as from clothes or carpets
  2. (usually plural) a shop, etc that provides a dry-cleaning service
  3. take a person to the cleaners informal to rob or defraud a person of all of his money
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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

Word Origin and History for take to the cleaners

cleaner

n.

mid-15c., agent noun from clean (v.). Meaning "shop that cleans clothes" is from 1873. To take (someone) to the cleaners "get all of (someone's) money" is from 1921.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with take to the cleaners

take to the cleaners

1

Take or cheat one out of all of one's money or possessions, as in Her divorce lawyer took him to the cleaners, or That broker has taken a number of clients to the cleaners. [Slang; early 1900s]

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2

Drub, beat up, as in He didn't just push you—he took you to the cleaners. [Slang; early 1900s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.