Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

clean

2 verb
     
Related topics: Cooking
clean2 S1 W3
1 [intransitive and transitive] to remove dirt from something by rubbing or washing [↪ cleanse]:
Your shoes need cleaning.
clean something down/off
We clean the machines down at the end of each day.
clean something off/from something
He used a tissue to clean his fingerprints off the gun.
dry-clean

; ➔ spring-clean

at spring-cleaning
2 [intransitive and transitive] to clean a building or other people's houses as your job:
Anne comes in to clean twice a week.
3

clean your teeth

British English to make your teeth clean using a toothbrush and toothpaste [= brush your teeth American English]
4 [transitive]DFC to remove the inside parts of an animal or bird before cooking it:
Harry caught the fish and cleaned them himself.
5

clean your plate

to eat all your food
WORD FOCUS: clean WORD FOCUS: clean
wash with soap and water
wipe
with a damp cloth
brush
with a brush to remove the dirt
polish
by rubbing with a cloth
scrub
by rubbing hard
sweep
with a broom
mop
with water and a mop (a tool with a long handle)
vacuum
also hoover British English with a machine that sucks up dust
disinfect
using chemicals to kill germs
cleanse
to clean your skin using a special cream
rinse
to put water on to remove dirt or soap
dust
to remove dust, for example with a cloth

clean somebody/something out

phrasal verb
1

clean something ↔ out

to make the inside of a room, house etc clean or tidy:
We'd better clean out the attic this week.
2

clean somebody out

informal if something expensive cleans you out, you spend so much money on it that you now have very little left:
Our trip to Paris cleaned me out.
3

clean somebody/something out

informal to steal everything from a place, or all of someone's possessions

clean up

phrasal verb
1 to make a place completely clean and tidy:
We spent all Saturday morning cleaning up.
clean something ↔ up
plans to clean up the beaches
clean up after
John always expects other people to clean up after him (=to make a place clean after he has used it).
2 to wash yourself after you have got very dirty
clean yourself up
Let me just go clean myself up.
Dad's upstairs getting cleaned up.
3

clean up your act

informal to start behaving sensibly and responsibly:
Some companies could face heavy fines if they fail to clean up their act.
4 informal to win a lot of money or make a lot of money in a business deal:
He cleaned up at the races yesterday.
5

clean something ↔ up

to improve moral standards in a place or organization:
It's high time British soccer cleaned up its image.

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