clean/klin/USA pronunciationadj. and adv.,-er, -est,v. adj.
free from dirt; unsoiled; unstained:a clean dress.
free from foreign or extra matter; pure:clean sound.
free from pollution:clean air; clean energy.
free from roughness or irregularity: a clean cut with a scalpel.
gracefully beautiful; trim: the clean lines of a ship.
morally pure; innocent; honorable: to lead a clean life.
not cheating; showing good sportsmanship:a clean fighter.
inoffensive in language or content:clean books.
innocent of crime:He had a clean record.
free from defects or flaws: a clean diamond.
made without any difficulty; quickly and smoothly done: a clean getaway.
smoothly and skillfully performed; adroit: a clean swing of the bat.
[before a noun] complete; total: a clean break with tradition.
empty; bare:a clean sheet of paper.
in a clean manner; cleanly:ran up the stairs and got clean away.
so as to be clean: This shirt will never wash clean.
Informal TermsInformal. completely; quite: The bullet passed clean through the wall.
to perform or undergo a process of cleaning: [no object]This new countertop cleans easily.[~ + object]I cleaned the room.
to dry-clean:[~ + object]Clean and press the pants.
to remove the insides and other parts from (poultry, etc.) that cannot be eaten; dress:[~ + object]She cleaned the turkey.
to empty in order to straighten or clean: [~ + out + object]I had to clean out my desk to find what I was looking for.[~ + object + out]I cleaned it out before dinner.
to take all the money from (someone); steal or take everything from (a store, etc.): [~ + object + out]They managed to clean him out at poker.[~ + out + object]They cleaned out the gangster and his men with a perfect scam.
to wash or tidy up: [no object]Let me clean up and I'll be right in.[~ + up + object]Please clean up your room.[~ + object + up]Would you clean the room up?
to get rid of undesirable persons, features, mistakes, etc., in : [~ + up + object]to clean up the errors in an essay.[~ + object + up]Can you clean them up now?
to put an end to; finish: [~ + up + object]to clean up yesterday's chores.[~ + object + up]to clean them up.
Informal Terms[no object] to make a large profit or a lot of money:Buy now while the prices are low and later you'll really clean up.
Idioms, Slang Termscome clean,[no object]Slang. to tell the truth, esp. to admit one's guilt:finally came clean and admitted she had been the one.
free from dirt; unsoiled; unstained:She bathed and put on a clean dress.
free from foreign or extraneous matter:clean sand.
free from pollution; unadulterated; pure:clean air; clean water.
habitually free of dirt:Cats are considered clean animals.
characterized by a fresh, wholesome quality:the clean smell of pine.
free from all writing or marking:a clean sheet of paper.
having few or no corrections; easily readable:The publisher demanded clean proofs from the printer.
free from roughness or irregularity:He made a clean cut with a razor.
not ornate; gracefully spare; forceful and simple; trim; streamlined:a clean literary style; the clean lines of a ship.
complete; unqualified:a clean break with tradition.
morally pure; innocent; upright; honorable:to lead a clean life.
showing good sportsmanship; fair:a clean fighter.
inoffensive in language or content; without obscenity.
(of a document, record, etc.) bearing no marks of discreditable or unlawful conduct; listing no offenses:a clean driver's license.
innocent of any crime.
not having a criminal record.
carrying or containing no evidence of unlawful activity or intent, as controlled substances, unlicensed weapons, or contraband:The agents searched the car for drugs, but it was clean.
not using narcotics.
(of a nuclear weapon) producing little or no radioactive fallout.
(of a document or financial instrument) free from qualifications or restrictions:a clean bill of lading.
free from defects or flaws:a clean diamond.
free from encumbrances or obstructions.
neatly or evenly made or proportioned; shapely; trim:a clean profile.
made without any unanticipated difficulty or interference:The bank robbers made a clean getaway.
Slang Terms[Chiefly Biblical.]having no physical or moral blemish or carrying no taboo so as to make impure according to the laws, esp. the dietary or ceremonial laws:a clean animal; clean persons.
dexterously performed; adroit:a clean serve in tennis.
(of a jump over an obstacle) made without touching the obstacle.
Slang Termshaving no direct associations, business interests, etc., that could prejudice one's official acts or decisions:The new governor is clean because he's sold his construction business and doesn't owe political favors to anyone.
Slang Termswithout money or funds.
Wine(of wine) having a taste that is unusually refreshing and smooth.
Nautical, Naval Terms(of an anchorage, harbor, etc.) free of obstructions or hazards (opposed to foul).
Veterinary Diseases(of the legs of a horse) free from injury or blemish, as capped hocks, splints, or scars.
Banking, Business[Foreign Exchange.](of currency floats) not influenced by exchange-rate manipulation (opposed to dirty).
in a clean manner; cleanly:Nobody wants to box with him because he doesn't fight clean.
so as to be clean:This shirt will never wash clean.
Informal Termswholly; completely; quite:The sharp carving knife sliced clean through the roast. In a year, he had gone clean through his inheritance.
Nautical(of a sail or sails) filled with wind; rap full.
Nautical(of a sailing vessel) with all sails full of wind; rap full.
come clean,[Slang.]to tell the truth, esp. to admit one's guilt.
to make clean:Clean those dirty shoes.
to remove or consume the contents of; empty; clear:She sat down to dinner ravenous and within five minutes had cleaned her plate.
to remove the entrails and other inedible parts from (poultry, fish, etc.); dress.
Slang Termsto take away or win all or almost all the money or possessions of (often fol. by out):The cards were marked and I got cleaned.
Metallurgyto remove the seams from (a casting) by filing or grinding.
Stamps[Philately.]to delete intentionally the cancellation from (a postage or revenue stamp).
to perform or undergo a process of cleaning:This kind of fabric cleans easily. Detergents clean better than most soaps.
to get rid of dirt, soil, etc. (often fol. by up):to spend the morning cleaning.
Idiomsclean house, to wipe out corruption, inefficiency, etc., as in an organization:It's time for the city government to clean house.
to empty in order to straighten or clean.
to use up; exhaust:He had cleaned out his savings.
Informal Termsto drive out by force.
to empty or rid (a place) of occupants, contents, etc.:Eager customers cleaned out the store on the first day of the sale. The thief cleaned out the safe.
[Slang.]to cause to lose all or almost all one's money or possessions.
to wash or tidy up.
to rid of undesirable persons or features:They cleaned up the local bars.
to put an end to; finish:to clean up yesterday's chores.
Informal Termsto make a large profit:They cleaned up in the stock market.
Idiomsclean up one's act. See act (def. 10).
Middle English clene, Old English clǣne pure, clear, cognate with Old High German kleini (German klein small) bef. 900
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged neat, immaculate. Clean,clear,pure refer to freedom from soiling, flaw, stain, or mixture. Clean refers esp. to freedom from soiling:a clean shirt.Clear refers particularly to freedom from flaw or blemish:a clear pane of glass.Pure refers esp. to freedom from mixture or stain:a pure metal; not diluted but pure and full strength.
7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged legible.
11.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unsullied, chaste, virtuous.
19.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unblemished, flawless.
34.See corresponding entry in Unabridged entirely, thoroughly.
37.See corresponding entry in Unabridged scour, scrub, sweep, brush, wipe, mop, dust, wash, rinse, lave, deterge, purify, clear; decontaminate. Clean,cleanse refer to removing dirt or impurities. Toclean is the general word with no implication of method or means:to clean windows, a kitchen, streets.Cleanse is esp. used of thorough cleaning by chemical or other technical process; figuratively it applies to moral or spiritual purification:to cleanse parts of machinery; to cleanse one's soul of guilt.
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged dirty.
17.See corresponding entry in Unabridged contaminated, radioactive.