Meaning of CLEAR in English


I. clear 1 S1 W1 /klɪə $ klɪr/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative clearer , superlative clearest )

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ clarity , ↑ clearance , ↑ clearing , ↑ clarification , ↑ clearness ; verb : ↑ clear , ↑ clarify ; adverb : ↑ clear , ↑ clearly ; adjective : ↑ clear ≠ ↑ unclear ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: cler , from Latin clarus 'clear, bright' ]

1 . EASY TO UNDERSTAND expressed in a simple and direct way so that people understand ⇨ clarity , clearly :

clear instructions

The question wasn’t very clear.

It’s the clearest guide I’ve used.

clear about

The school is clear about its policy on bullying.

clear about what/when/how etc

Be very clear about what jobs should be completed, and by when.

clear on

The rules are quite clear on the point.

clear to

It was clear to him that Tolkien was a literary genius.

make something clear

The bishop made his views clear in a letter to the publisher.

How can you make the meaning clearer?

make it clear that

Make it clear that you will not take sides.

absolutely/abundantly clear

Can I make it absolutely clear that we did not intend this to happen?

Perhaps I tried to cover too much and didn’t make myself clear (=express myself well) .

If you don’t understand, it’s best to say so and get things clear.

If I catch you smoking again, you’re grounded. Do I make myself clear (=used when you are angry) ?

clear picture/idea (=a good understanding)

The report gave a clear picture of the property’s condition.

He writes crystal clear (=very easy to understand) prose.

2 . IMPOSSIBLE TO DOUBT impossible to doubt, question, or make a mistake about ⇨ clearly :

clear evidence of guilt

They won by a clear majority.

it is clear whether/why/how etc

It’s not clear whether he shares her views.

it is clear (that)

It’s clear that the drug does benefit some patients.

When it became clear that I was pregnant, he left me.

clear case/example of something

a clear case of sexual discrimination

3 . SURE ABOUT SOMETHING feeling certain that you know or understand something ⇨ clearly

clear about/on

Are you all clear now about what you have to do?

clear whether/what/how etc

I’m still not really clear how this machine works.

Let me get this clear – you hadn’t seen her in three days?

a clearer understanding of the issues

4 . THINKING able to think sensibly and quickly ⇨ clarity , clearly :

She felt that her thinking was clearer now.

In the morning, with a clear head, she’d tackle the problem.

5 . SUBSTANCE/LIQUID easy to see through, rather than coloured or dirty SYN transparent OPP cloudy , opaque :

clear glass bottles

a crystal clear mountain lake

6 . WEATHER clean and fresh, without clouds or mist:

a clear June morning

The skies were clear and blue.

7 . EYES healthy, very pure in colour, and without any redness:

clear blue eyes

8 . SKIN smooth and without any red spots:

a clear complexion

9 . EASY TO SEE having details, edges, lines etc that are easy to see, or shapes that are easy to recognize ⇨ clarity :

a TV with a clear picture and high-quality sound

10 . EASY TO HEAR easy to hear, and therefore easy to understand ⇨ clarity , clearly :

a clear speaking voice

The radio reception isn’t very clear.

It’s a good recording; the sound is as clear as a bell (=very clear) .

11 . AFTER TAX a clear amount of profit, wages etc is what is left after taxes have been paid on it SYN net :

I get £200 a week clear.

Sam makes a clear $90,000 per year.

12 . a clear conscience the knowledge that you have done the right thing and should not feel guilty:

I don’t think I could vote for him with a clear conscience.

She had done what she could and her conscience was clear.

13 . PERIOD OF TIME without any planned activities or events:

Next Monday is clear; how about ten o'clock?

14 . NOT BUSY complete or whole:

Allow three clear days for delivery.

15 . NOT BLOCKED/COVERED not covered or blocked by anything that stops you from doing or seeing what you want:

The roads were fairly clear this morning.

clear view/look

From the top floor you get a clear view of the bay.

clear of

To prevent fires, the sides of the roads are kept clear of underbrush.

16 . see your way clear (to doing something) informal to have the necessary time or willingness to be able to do something:

We expect good results soon, if the board can see its way clear to continuing funding the project.

17 . be clear of something to not be touching something, or to be past someone or something:

Wait to cross until the street is clear of cars.

The curtains should be a couple of inches clear of the floor.

18 . as clear as mud spoken used humorously to say that something is very difficult to understand ⇨ ↑ all clear , ⇨ the coast is clear at ↑ coast 1 (2)

—clearness noun [uncountable]

• • •


■ verbs

▪ make something clear

Children may have difficulty in making their feelings clear.

▪ get something clear (=understand something properly)

I was trying to get the idea clear in my mind.

■ adverbs

▪ absolutely/perfectly clear

His answer was perfectly clear.

▪ crystal clear (=extremely clear)

The instructions on the packet are crystal clear.

▪ abundantly clear formal (=extremely clear)

By July the scale of the problem had become abundantly clear.

▪ not entirely clear

Sam’s reasons for leaving were not entirely clear.

■ nouns

▪ a clear picture/idea (=a good understanding)

Some work experience should give you a clear idea of what the job involves.

■ phrases

▪ make it clear that

The tone of her voice made it clear that she was very angry.

▪ make yourself clear (=express yourself in a way that is easy to understand)

Please tell me if I’m not making myself clear.

▪ be far from clear/be by no means clear (=be very unclear)

The directions she gave me were far from clear.

• • •

THESAURUS (for Meaning 5)

■ easy to see through

▪ clear easy to see through, rather than coloured or dirty:

The table top is a piece of clear glass.


a clear liquid


The water was so clear that you could see down to the bottom of the lake.

▪ transparent clear - used especially about materials and solid things. Transparent is a little more formal than clear :

Fill a transparent plastic bottle with water.


a piece of transparent film


Melt 2 ounces of butter in a large frying pan, and cook the onions until they are almost transparent.

▪ see-through made of a very thin material that you can see through - used especially about women’s clothes:

She wore a black see-through dress.

▪ limpid literary clear - used especially about water or other liquids . This is a very formal word which is used in novels and literature:

limpid pools


She gave her a golden flask of limpid olive oil.

■ difficult to see through

▪ opaque difficult to see through:

The shower has an opaque glass door.

II. clear 2 S1 W2 BrE AmE verb

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ clarity , ↑ clearance , ↑ clearing , ↑ clarification , ↑ clearness ; verb : ↑ clear , ↑ clarify ; adverb : ↑ clear , ↑ clearly ; adjective : ↑ clear ≠ ↑ unclear ]

1 . SURFACE/PLACE [transitive] to make somewhere emptier or tidier by removing things from it:

Snowplows have been out clearing the roads.

clear something of something

Large areas of land had been cleared of forest.

clear something from something

Workers began clearing wreckage from the tracks.

Dad cleared a space (=moved things so there was room) in the garage for Jim’s tools.

It’s Kelly’s turn to clear the table (=remove the dirty plates, forks etc) .

2 . REMOVE PEOPLE [transitive] to make people, cars etc leave a place:

Within minutes, police had cleared the area.

clear somebody/something from something

Crowds of demonstrators were cleared from the streets.

3 . CRIME/BLAME ETC [transitive usually passive] to prove that someone is not guilty of something:

Rawlings was cleared after new evidence was produced.

clear somebody of (doing) something

Maya was cleared of manslaughter.

a long-running legal battle to clear his name

4 . PERMISSION [transitive]

a) to give or get official permission for something to be done:

He was cleared by doctors to resume skating in August.

clear something with somebody

Defence policies must often be cleared with NATO allies first.

b) to give official permission for a person, ship, or aircraft to enter or leave a country:

The plane took off as soon as it was cleared.

5 . clear your throat to cough in order to be able to speak with a clear voice

6 . WEATHER [intransitive] ( also clear up ) if the weather, sky, mist etc clears, it becomes better and there is more sun:

The haze usually clears by lunchtime.

7 . LIQUID [intransitive] if a liquid clears, it becomes more transparent and you can see through it:

Wait for the water to clear before adding any fish.

8 . CHEQUE [intransitive and transitive] if a cheque clears, or if a bank clears it, the bank allows the money to be paid into the account of the person whose name is on the cheque

9 . GO OVER/PAST [transitive] to go over a fence, wall etc without touching it, or to go past or through something and no longer be in it:

The plane barely cleared the fence at the end of the runway.

Edwards cleared 18 feet in the pole vault.

The plane cleared Chinese airspace.

10 . clear a debt/loan to get rid of a debt by paying what you owe

11 . clear your head/mind to stop worrying or thinking about something, or get rid of the effects of drinking too much alcohol:

A good walk might clear my head.

12 . FACE/EXPRESSION [intransitive] literary if your face or expression clears, you stop looking worried or angry:

She looked embarrassed, but then her face cleared.

13 . clear the way for something written to make it possible for a process to happen:

This agreement will clear the way for further talks.

14 . SKIN [intransitive] ( also clear up ) if your skin clears, red marks on it disappear:

The rash has finally cleared.

15 . clear the air to do something to end an argument or bad situation, for example discuss a problem calmly

16 . clear (something through) customs to be allowed to take things through ↑ custom s

17 . clear the decks to do all the work that needs to be done before you can do other things:

I’m trying to clear the decks before Christmas.

18 . EARN [transitive] informal to earn a particular amount of money after taxes have been paid on it:

Diane clears £20,000 a year.

clear something ↔ away phrasal verb

to make a place look tidier by removing things or putting things back where they belong:

When dinner was done and cleared away, Auntie Lou made some tea.

Homeowners are clearing away brush near their houses to prevent fires.

clear off phrasal verb British English informal

to leave a place quickly:

They cleared off when they saw the police coming.

clear off! (=used to tell someone angrily to go away)

clear out phrasal verb

1 . clear something ↔ out to make a place tidy by removing things from it and getting rid of them:

I need to clear out my closet.

2 . to leave a place or building quickly:

Wait to get on the train until the people getting off have cleared out.

clear out! British English (=used to tell someone angrily to go away)

⇨ ↑ clear-out

clear up phrasal verb

1 . to make a place look tidier by putting things back where they belong:

I don’t mind you using the kitchen as long as you clear up afterwards.

clear something ↔ up

Adam, clear up this mess before your father sees it.

clear up after

I get really tired of clearing up after you (=tidying places that you have made untidy) .

2 . clear something ↔ up to explain or solve something, or make it easier to understand:

The White House hopes these problems can be cleared up soon.

There are a couple of points we need to clear up before the meeting begins.

3 . if the weather clears up, it gets better

4 . if an illness or infection clears up, it disappears

III. clear 3 BrE AmE adverb

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ clarity , ↑ clearance , ↑ clearing , ↑ clarification , ↑ clearness ; verb : ↑ clear , ↑ clarify ; adverb : ↑ clear , ↑ clearly ; adjective : ↑ clear ≠ ↑ unclear ]

1 . away from something, or out of the way:

Firefighters pulled her clear of the wreckage.

Please stand clear of the doors.

2 . keep/stay/steer clear (of somebody/something) to avoid someone or something because of possible danger or trouble:

If you’re a beginner, steer clear of resorts with reputations for difficult skiing.

3 . especially American English informal used to emphasize a long distance:

You can see clear to the hills.

⇨ loud and clear at ↑ loud 2 (2)

IV. clear 4 BrE AmE noun

in the clear not guilty of something

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.