Language: Old English
Origin: clæne


1 adjective
Related topics: Drug Culture, Law
clean1 W2 comparative cleaner, superlative cleanest

not dirty

without any dirt, marks etc [≠ dirty]COLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
keep something clean wipe something clean (=wipe a cloth over something so it is clean) sweep/scrub etc something clean (=rub something hard with a cloth or brush so it is clean) clean and tidy especially British English neat and clean especially American English nice and clean spotlessly/scrupulously clean (=very clean) as clean as a whistle (=very clean)
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.
I want you to get those plates as clean as a whistle.


having a clean appearance and habits:
Cats are naturally clean.


containing or producing nothing that is dirty or harmful [↪ cleanly]

fair or legal

a) done in a fair or legal way [≠ dirty]:
a clean fight
b) SCL showing that you have followed the rules:
a clean driving licence
He's got a clean record.
c) [not before noun] informal not hiding any weapons or illegal drugs:
They searched him, but he was clean.
d) MDD [not before noun] no longer taking illegal drugs:
Dave's been clean for two years now.

not offensive

talk, jokes, behaviour etc that are clean are not offensive or about sex [≠ 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)

come clean

informal to finally tell the truth about something you have been hiding
come clean about
The government should come clean about its plans.

make a clean breast of it

to admit that you have done something wrong so that you no longer feel guilty

a clean break

a complete and sudden separation from a person, organization, or situation:
Den left the next day, needing to make a clean break.

clean sheet/slate

a record of someone's work, behaviour, performance etc that shows they have not done anything wrong or made any mistakes:
Jed looked forward to starting life again with a clean sheet.
Lewis has kept a clean sheet in every game (=not let the other team score).

clean hands

if a person, government, organization etc has clean hands, they have done something in a fair or legal way:
Neither side is coming to the negotiating table with completely clean hands.


a piece of paper that is clean has not yet been used [= fresh]


having a smooth or regular edge or surface [↪ cleanly]:
a clean cut
Use a clean, simple typeface for signs.

a clean bill of health

a report that says you are healthy or that a machine or building is safe:
Inspectors gave the factory a clean bill of health.

a clean sweep

a) a very impressive victory in a competition, election etc
a clean sweep for
All the polls had pointed to a clean sweep for the Democrats.
Hopes that the French would make a clean sweep at the Games were dashed.
b) a complete change in a company or organization, often by removing people


having a fresh pleasant taste:
Add a little lemon juice to give the pasta a cool, clean taste.

clean copy

a piece of writing without mistakes or other marks written on it


a clean movement in sport is skilful and exact:
He steadied his arm, hoping for a clean shot.
cleanness noun [uncountable]

; ➔ keep your nose clean

at nose1 (9)
very clean: spotless, pristine, immaculate, spick and span

Dictionary results for "clean"
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