From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcleanclean1 /kliːn/ ●●● S2 W2 adjective (comparative cleaner, superlative cleanest) 1 WITHOUT DIRTCLEANnot dirty without any dirt, marks etc opp dirty Are your hands clean? clean towels Make sure you keep the wound clean. Wipe that sink clean when you’re done. As usual, she left her room clean and tidy before going to school. a spotlessly clean kitchen I want you to get those plates as clean as a whistle.2 HABITS/APPEARANCECLEANpeople/animals having a clean appearance and habits Cats are naturally clean.3 AIR/WATERenvironmentCLEAN containing or producing nothing that is dirty or harmful → cleanlyclean air/water/energy etc the Clean Air Act cleaner fuels► see thesaurus at environmentally friendly4 FAIR/LEGALfair or legal a) FAIRdone in a fair or legal way opp dirty a clean fight b) SCLshowing that you have followed the rules a clean driving licence He’s got a clean record. c) WITHOUT WEAPONS/DRUGS[not before noun] informalSAFENOT HAVE not hiding any weapons or illegal drugs They searched him, but he was clean. d) NOT HAVING DRUGSMDD[not before noun] no longer taking illegal drugs Dave’s been clean for two years now.5 JOKES/HUMOURnot offensiveGOOD/MORAL talk, jokes, behaviour etc that are clean are not offensive or about sex opp dirty Oh, don’t get mad – it’s just good clean fun! Keep it clean (=do not offend people with what you say).clean living (=a way of life which is healthy and moral)6 → come clean7 → make a clean breast of it8 → a clean break9 → clean sheet/slate10 → clean hands11 PAPERpaperUSE something a piece of paper that is clean has not yet been used syn fresh12 SMOOTHsmoothFLAT having a smooth or regular edge or surface → cleanly a clean cut Use a clean simple typeface for signs.13 → a clean bill of health14 → a clean sweep15 taste having a fresh pleasant taste Add a little lemon juice to give the pasta a cool clean taste.16 → clean copy17 MOVEMENTGOOD ATmovement a clean movement in sport is skilful and exact He steadied his arm, hoping for a clean shot. —cleanness noun [uncountable] → clean-cut, → keep your nose clean at nose1(9)COLLOCATIONSnounsclean clothesHe had a shower and changed into clean clothes.a clean shirt/sheet/towel etcWhere are all my clean socks?clean handsMake sure you have clean hands before you eat.verbskeep something cleanYou should always keep your kitchen clean.wipe something clean (=use a cloth to clean a surface)He started to wipe the blackboard clean.sweep/scrub something clean (=use a brush to clean something)She quickly swept the floor clean.leave something cleanPlease leave the apartment clean when you go.adverbsspotlessly/scrupulously clean (=very clean)Hospitals must be kept scrupulously clean.squeaky clean (=completely clean)I like my hair to be squeaky clean.phrasesnice and clean (=clean)Their job is to keep the streets nice and clean.clean and tidy especially British English:I insist my children keep their rooms clean and tidy.neat and clean especially American English:Her kids were always neat and clean.clean as a whistle (=very clean)The place was clean as a whistle.THESAURUSclean without any dirt or marksThey need clean water to drink.I don’t have any clean clothes.pure water or air that is pure does not contain any dirt, pollution, or bacteriaI breathed in the pure mountain air.sterile /ˈsteraɪl $ -rəl/ completely clean, with no bacteria, and therefore safe for medical or scientific usePlace a sterile bandage on the wound.sterile needlesspotless completely clean – used mainly about rooms and clothesHer kitchen is always spotless.pristine /ˈprɪstiːn/ completely clean and new-lookingHe wore a pristine white shirt.immaculate as clean and tidy as it is possible to beThe soldiers’ uniforms have to be immaculate.spick and span [not before noun] informal clean and tidy, especially after having just been cleanedBy the end of the day, the whole place was spick and span.
Examples from the Corpusclean• He's been asked to tell some jokes in his speech but he's got to keep it clean.• I couldn't get the tiles any cleaner.• Our hotel room was lovely and clean.• A large house is difficult to keep clean.• Are your hands clean?• Clean air and water is a necessity of life.• They should be soft, clean, and even colored.• Everyone wants a clean and honest election.• He smelt clean and I shut my eyes.• Cats are very clean animals.• clean-burning natural gas• The Emperor, however, envisaged a city which was not only light and clean but also full of air.• The graphics in Duke are cleaner, but they have a cartoon-like feel to them.• Fortunately, the glass made a clean cut on his leg.• Gene always has the cleanest desk in the office.• Drivers with clean driving records pay less in insurance.• Nothing more dramatic than a cleaner environment.• Dave's been clean for over a year now.• Monica is what I would call a clean freak.• Join us tomorrow night for an evening of good clean fun.• the clean lines of Morrison's drawings• Instead, they should provide the user with clean needles and information to help avoid infection.• I'll put some clean sheets on the bed.• He changed into a clean shirt.• the car's clean style• a clean towel• This results in a clean, undistorted image which looks like it's come out of a laser printer rather than a fax machine.keep ... clean• However, there may be a small minority of residents who refuse to be kept clean.• Mr Kaifu has agreed to reshaping his cabinet, but has insisted on keeping it clean.• They rarely look anywhere near as good as the real thing, but they will be cheaper, and easier to keep clean.• Utility companies, under government regulation, might do a better job of keeping the air clean.• To this end, he had taught his deputies that keeping their guns cleaned and oiled meant never having to use them.• If you wear an overall, keep it clean and tidy.• Her feeding tube delivers formula 20 hours a day and must be kept clean to prevent infection.• The streets are kept clean with giant brushing and sprinkling machines.clean air/water/energy etc• Such procedures should aim to ensure efficient operation and the provision of fresh, clean air.• Ultraviolet light, hydrogen peroxide and ozone assure crystal-clear, clean water.• When Abudah had made his way through this slimy cavern he emerged upon a mountain top in the clean air.• Where is there more opportunity to enjoy the elemental values of living, bright sun and clean air and space?• Environmentalists have spread the alarm about clean air and water.• Local government has not been able to supply clean water from surface sources.• When the whole rotor system is spinning in clean air, it suddenly lifts very strongly-translational lift.• Life expectancy is only 58 years and 25 percent of the people have no access to clean water supplies.clean record• But Tunstall's solicitor told the court the crimes were an uncharacteristic blemish on an otherwise clean record.• Have we left a clean record behind?good clean fun• And among the other questions this month: Is bathroom humour just good clean fun?• It's all good clean fun.• So why does this free entertainment not qualify for the description of good clean fun?• But for the good clean fun of international football, they would have gone on being indifferent to those others.