Date: 1500-1600
Origin: clew 'ball of string' (11-19 centuries), from Old English cliewen; from the use of a ball of string for finding the way out of a network of passages


1 noun
clue1 S2 [countable]
1 an object or piece of information that helps someone solve a crime or mystery:
Police have found a vital clue.
clue to/about/as to
We now have an important clue as to the time of the murder.
Archaeological evidence will provide clues about what the building was used for.
clue in
This information is a valuable clue in our hunt for the bombers.
2 information that helps you understand the reasons why something happens
clue to/about/as to
Childhood experiences may provide a clue as to why some adults develop eating disorders.
3 a piece of information that helps you solve a crossword puzzle, answer a question etc:
I'll give you a clue, Kevin, it's a kind of bird.

not have a clue (where/why/how etc)

a) to not have any idea about the answer to a question, how to do something, what a situation is etc:
'Do you know how to switch this thing off?' 'I haven't a clue.'
Until I arrived here, I hadn't got a clue what I was going to say to her.
b) to be very stupid, or very bad at a particular activity:
Don't let Mike cook you dinner; he hasn't got a clue.
I haven't a clue how to talk to girls.
not have a clue (where/why/how etc) about
No point asking Jill - she hasn't got a clue about maths.

Dictionary results for "clue"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.