[clean] adj [ME clene, fr. OE claene; akin to OHG kleini delicate, dainty] (bef. 12c) 1 a: free from dirt or pollution "changed to ~ clothes" "~ solar energy" b: free from contamination or disease c: free or relatively free from radioactivity "a ~ atomic explosion"
2. a: unadulterated, pure "the ~ thrill of one's first flight" b of a precious stone: having no interior flaws visible c: free from growth that hinders tillage 3 a: free from moral corruption or sinister connections of any kind "a candidate with a ~ record" b: free from offensive treatment of sexual subjects and from the use of obscenity "a ~ joke" c: observing the rules: fair "a ~ fight"
4: ceremonially or spiritually pure "and all who are ~ may eat flesh --Lev 7:19 (RSV)"
5. a: thorough, complete "a ~ break with the past" b: deftly executed: skillful "~ ballet technique" c: hit beyond the reach of an opponent "a ~ single to center"
6. a: relatively free from error or blemish: clear; specif: legible "~ copy" b: unencumbered "~ bill of sale"
7. a: characterized by clarity and precision: trim "a ~ prose style" "architecture with ~ almost austere lines" b: even, smooth "a ~ edge" "a sharp blow causing a ~ break" c: free from impedances to smooth flow (as of water or air) "a ~ airplane" "a ship with a ~ bottom"
8. a: empty "the ship returned with a ~ hold" b: free from drug addiction c slang: having no contraband (as weapons or drugs) in one's possession 9: habitually neat -- clean.ness n
clean adv (bef. 12c) 1 a: so as to clean "a new broom sweeps ~" b: in a clean manner "play the game ~"
2: all the way: completely "the bullet went ~ through his arm" clean vt (15c) 1 a: to make clean: as (1): to rid of dirt, impurities, or extraneous matter (2): to rid of corruption "vowing to ~ up city hall" b: remove, eradicate--usu. used with up or off "~ up that mess"
2. a: strip, empty "a tree ~ed of fruit" b: to remove the entrails from "~ fish" c: to deprive of money or possessions--often used with out "they ~ed him out completely" ~ vi: to undergo or perform a process of cleaning "~ up before dinner" -- clean.abil.i.ty n -- clean.able adj -- clean house 1: to clean a house and its furniture
2: to make sweeping reforms or changes (as of personnel) -- clean one's clock : to beat one badly in a fight or competition -- clean up one's act : to behave in a more acceptable manner clean n (ca. 1889): an act of cleaning dirt esp. from the surface of something