Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Free from dirt, stain, or impurities; unsoiled.
  • adj. Free from foreign matter or pollution; unadulterated: clean air; clean drinking water.
  • adj. Not infected: a clean wound.
  • adj. Producing relatively little pollution: a clean fuel; a cleaner, more efficient engine.
  • adj. Producing relatively little radioactive fallout or contamination: a clean nuclear bomb.
  • adj. Having no imperfections or blemishes; regular or even: a clean edge; a smooth, clean joint.
  • adj. Not ornate or intricate; spare: "the clean lines and exquisite proportions of early modernism” ( Judith Thurman).
  • adj. Sharply defined; clear-cut: a clean outline against the sky.
  • adj. Free from clumsiness; deft; adroit: a clean throw.
  • adj. Devoid of restrictions or encumbrances: a clean bill of health.
  • adj. Thorough; complete: a clean getaway.
  • adj. Having few alterations or corrections; legible: clean manuscript.
  • adj. Blank: a clean page.
  • adj. Morally pure; virtuous: led a clean life.
  • adj. Having no marks of discredit or offense: a clean voting record.
  • adj. Fit for all readers, listeners, or audiences; not ribald or obscene: a clean joke.
  • adj. Honest or fair: a clean fighter; a clean competition.
  • adj. Slang Not carrying concealed weapons or drugs.
  • adj. Slang Innocent of a suspected crime.
  • adj. Informal Free from narcotics addiction.
  • adj. Informal Showing no evidence of using banned or performance-enhancing substances: proven to be clean before the race.
  • adv. So as to be unsoiled: wash the dishes clean.
  • adv. In a fair manner: played the game clean.
  • adv. In a clean or nonpolluting manner: a fuel that burns clean.
  • adv. Informal Entirely; wholly: clean forgot the appointment.
  • transitive v. To rid of dirt, rubbish, or impurities: clean a room; clean a suit.
  • transitive v. To get rid of (impurities or dirt, for example); remove: cleaned up the trash; cleaned off the stains.
  • transitive v. To prepare (fowl or other food) for cooking, as by removing the entrails or fat.
  • transitive v. To remove the contents from; empty: cleaned my plate.
  • transitive v. Sports To lift (a barbell) from the floor to the shoulders in one motion.
  • intransitive v. To undergo or perform an act of cleaning.
  • clean out To rid of dirt, rubbish, or impurities.
  • clean out To empty of contents or occupants.
  • clean out Informal To drive or force out: cleaned out the incompetent workers.
  • clean out Slang To deprive completely of money or material wealth: The robbery cleaned us out.
  • clean up To make clean or orderly.
  • clean up To make oneself clean, neat, or presentable.
  • clean up To dispose of; settle: cleaned up the unpaid bills.
  • clean up Slang To make a large profit, often in a short period of time: cleaned up during the bull market.
  • idiom clean house Slang To eliminate or discard what is undesirable: The scandal forced the company to clean house.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not dirty.
  • adj. In an unmarked condition.
  • adj. Pure, especially morally or religiously.
  • adj. Not having used drugs or alcohol.
  • adj. Smooth, exact, and performed well.
  • adj. without restrictions or penalties, or someone having such a record.
  • adj. Cool or neat.
  • adj. Allowing an uninterrupted flow over surfaces, without protrusions such as racks or landing gear.
  • adj. Being free of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
  • adj. Not in possession of weapons or contraband such as drugs.
  • adj. Empty.
  • adj. Having relatively few impurities.
  • n. Removal of dirt.
  • n. The first part of the event clean and jerk in which the weight is brought from the ground to the shoulders.
  • v. To remove dirt from a place or object.
  • v. To tidy up, make a place neat.
  • v. To remove equipment from a climbing route after it was previously lead climbed.
  • v. To make things clean in general.
  • v. To brush the ice lightly in front of a moving rock to remove any debris and ensure a correct line; less vigorous than a sweep.
  • adv. Fully and completely.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Free from dirt or filth.
  • adj. Free from that which is useless or injurious; without defects.
  • adj. Free from awkwardness; not bungling; adroit; dexterous.
  • adj. Free from errors and vulgarisms.
  • adj. Free from restraint or neglect; complete; entire.
  • adj. Free from moral defilement; sinless; pure.
  • adj. Free from ceremonial defilement.
  • adj. Free from that which is corrupting to the morals; pure in tone; healthy.
  • adj. Well-proportioned; shapely.
  • adv. Without limitation or remainder; quite; perfectly; wholly; entirely.
  • adv. Without miscarriage; not bunglingly; dexterously.
  • transitive v. To render clean; to free from whatever is foul, offensive, or extraneous; to purify; to cleanse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Unmixed with foreign or extraneous matter; free from admixture; unadulterated; pure.
  • Free from dirt or filth; having all uncleanness removed.
  • Morally pure; guiltless; upright; honorable.
  • Among the Jews:
  • Of persons, free from ceremonial defilement.
  • Of animals and things, not causing ceremonial defilement; specifically, of animals, not forbidden by the ceremonial law for use in sacrifice and for food.
  • Free from defect in substance or execution; without blemish or shortcoming: as, a clean garden; clean timber; a clean proof (in printing); to make a clean copy from a draft; to make a clean job of a piece of work.
  • 6. Clear; bright; keen; incisive.
  • . Noble; excellent; notable.
  • Whole; entire; complete.
  • Well-proportioned; shapely; elegant.
  • Free from awkwardness; not bungling; dexterous; adroit: as, a clean boxer; a clean leap; a clean trick.
  • . In whale-fishing, having no fish or oil aboard; having captured no whales.
  • Free; unencumbered.
  • In a clean manner.
  • Quite; perfectly; wholly; entirely; fully: as, the dam was carried clean away.
  • Without miscarriage; dexterously; neatly; cleverly.
  • . Nobly; beautifully.
  • To make clean; remove all foreign or defiling matter from; purify; cleanse.
  • To remove by cleaning or in the process of cleaning: with off: as, to clean off filth.
  • To remove completely; clear out. Synonyms Clean, Cleanse. Cleanse is stronger than clean, expressing more thorough work. Clean is generally used of physical purification; cleanse, of physical or moral. Clean is more common.
  • In good or wholesome condition: said of fishes which have neither recently spawned nor are about to spawn and are fit for food.
  • Unfeathered: said of pigeons which have no feathers on the feet, in distinction from those which are muffled, or have feathered feet.
  • Nautical: said of a ship's form when it has acute or fine tapering lines: as, a clean entrance; a clean run.
  • Free from obstruction, as a coast, harbor, etc.
  • A whaler without oil on hoard.
  • A ship in good condition; a cleanly vessel.
  • In agriculture, to clear (land) of weeds.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. remove unwanted substances from, such as feathers or pits
  • adj. not spreading pollution or contamination; especially radioactive contamination
  • adj. exhibiting or calling for sportsmanship or fair play
  • adv. in conformity with the rules or laws and without fraud or cheating
  • adj. free from clumsiness; precisely or deftly executed
  • v. deprive wholly of money in a gambling game, robbery, etc.
  • adj. free from sepsis or infection
  • adj. (of a record) having no marks of discredit or offense
  • adj. thorough and without qualification
  • v. clean one's body or parts thereof, as by washing
  • adj. (of a manuscript) having few alterations or corrections
  • adj. free from dirt or impurities; or having clean habits
  • v. remove unwanted substances from
  • adj. free from impurities
  • adj. free of drugs
  • v. make clean by removing dirt, filth, or unwanted substances from
  • adj. ritually clean or pure
  • adv. completely; used as intensifiers
  • v. remove all contents or possession from, or empty completely
  • n. a weightlift in which the barbell is lifted to shoulder height and then jerked overhead
  • adj. free of restrictions or qualifications
  • v. clean and tidy up the house
  • v. be cleanable
  • adj. (of a surface) not written or printed on
  • adj. (of sound or color) free from anything that dulls or dims
  • adj. without difficulties or problems
  • adj. not carrying concealed weapons
  • adj. morally pure
  • v. remove shells or husks from
  • adj. (of behavior or especially language) free from objectionable elements; fit for all observers
  • v. remove while making clean

Etymologies

Middle English clene, from Old English clǣne.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English clene, clane, from Old English clǣne ("clean, pure, chaste, innocent, unencumbered, unfettered, hallowed, clear, open, honorable, true, acute, sagacious, intellectual"), from Proto-Germanic *klainiz (“shining, fine, splendid, tender”), from Proto-Indo-European *g(e)lēi- (“gleaming”), from Proto-Indo-European *gel- (“to gleam”). Cognate with Scots clean ("absolute, pure, clear, empty") and clene, clane ("clean"), North Frisian klien ("small"), Dutch klein ("small"), Low German kleen ("small"), German klein ("small"), Swedish klen ("weak, feeble, delicate"), Icelandic klénn ("poor, feeble, petty, snug, puny, cheesy, lame"). Displaced Old English sȳfre ("clean, sober"), hlūtor ("pure, clear, clean, bright"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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