Meaning of CLEAN in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ kli:n ]

( cleaner, cleanest, cleans, cleaning, cleaned)

Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.


Something that is clean is free from dirt or unwanted marks.

He wore his cleanest slacks, a clean shirt and a navy blazer...

Disease has not been a problem because clean water is available...

The metro is efficient and spotlessly clean...

≠ dirty



You say that people or animals are clean when they keep themselves or their surroundings clean.

≠ dirty



A clean fuel or chemical process does not create many harmful or polluting substances.

Fans of electric cars say they are clean, quiet and economical.

≠ dirty


• clean‧ly

Manufacturers are working with new fuels to find one that burns more cleanly than petrol.

ADV : ADV after v


If you clean something or clean dirt off it, you make it free from dirt and unwanted marks, for example by washing or wiping it. If something cleans easily, it is easy to clean.

Her father cleaned his glasses with a paper napkin...

It took half an hour to clean the orange powder off the bath...

Wood flooring not only cleans easily, but it’s environmentally friendly into the bargain.

VERB : V n , V n prep / adv , V adv

Clean is also a noun.

Give the cooker a good clean.



If you clean a room or house, you make the inside of it and the furniture in it free from dirt and dust.

With them also lived Mary Burinda, who cooked and cleaned...

She got up early and cleaned the flat.

VERB : V , V n

• clean‧ing

I do the cleaning myself.



If you describe something such as a book, joke, or lifestyle as clean , you think that they are not sexually immoral or offensive.

They’re trying to show clean, wholesome, decent movies...

Flirting is good clean fun...

≠ dirty

ADJ [ approval ]


If someone has a clean reputation or record, they have never done anything illegal or wrong.

Accusations of tax evasion have tarnished his clean image...

You can hire these from most car hire firms, provided you have a clean driving licence.



A clean game or fight is carried out fairly, according to the rules.

He called for a clean fight in the election and an end to ‘negative campaigning’...

= fair

≠ dirty

ADJ : usu ADJ n

• clean‧ly

The game had been cleanly fought.

ADV : ADV after v , ADV -ed


A clean sheet of paper has no writing or drawing on it.

Take a clean sheet of paper and down the left-hand side make a list.

= blank

ADJ : usu ADJ n


If you make a clean break or start, you end a situation completely and start again in a different way.

She wanted to make a clean break from her mother and father.



Clean is used to emphasize that something was done completely. ( INFORMAL )

It burned clean through the seat of my overalls...

I clean forgot everything I had prepared.

ADV : usu ADV prep / adv , also ADV before v [ emphasis ]


You can describe an action as clean to indicate that it is carried out simply and quickly without mistakes.

They were more concerned about the dogs’ welfare than a clean getaway...

≠ messy

ADJ : usu ADJ n

• clean‧ly

I struck the ball cleanly and my shot was on target.

ADV : ADV after v , ADV -ed


If you come clean about something that you have been keeping secret, you admit it or tell people about it. ( INFORMAL )

It would be better if you come clean about it and let her know what kind of man she is seeing.

PHRASE : V inflects , oft PHR about/on n


to clean up your act: see act

to keep your nose clean: see nose

a clean slate: see slate

to wipe the slate clean: see slate

a clean sweep: see sweep

clean as a whistle: see whistle

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.