Meaning of CLEAN in English

I. ˈklēn adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English clene, from Old English clǣne pure, clear; akin to Old Saxon klēni delicate, dainty, fine, Old High German kleini, Greek glainoi ornaments, Armenian całr laughter; basic meaning: bright, gay


a. : free from matter that adulterates, contaminates, or pollutes

add clean mercury to the solution

b. : free from admixture with whatever diminishes the distinctive quality or essential character

the clean thrill of one's first flight

the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty — F.D.Roosevelt

c. of a precious stone : having no interior flaws visible to the unaided eye

d. of stock : free of slow-moving goods or inventory


a. : free from or freed of dirt, filth, refuse, or remains

wearing clean linen

requested a clean plate

: free from any putrefying or infecting agent

fowl reared on clean litter

b. : free from disease, often from a specified disease

a pullorum- clean flock

keep installations clean of TB infection

c. : accustomed to keep free of dirt and foulness

raccoons are cleaner than other cage animals

d. of a domestic animal : that has never been bred

e. of a ship : having the bottom free from fouling accumulation


(1) : free from smudges or anything that tends to obscure

a clean set of fingerprints

(2) of copy : easy to read with corrections clearly and neatly made

(3) of typesetting or a proof : relatively free from error — opposed to dirty

(4) of a proof : pulled from type in which errors detected on a previous proof have been corrected for sending to the author — compare foul

g. of a deer or antlers , Britain : having shed the velvet

h. : freeing or freed of weeds and other harmful growth and rubbish and of growth that hinders tillage

the pros and cons of clean culture between fruit trees

clean farming is detrimental to wild life


a. : free from moral taint or corruption or sinister connections of any kind : guiltless

police confirmed he had had a clean record for two years

clean candidates are needed for clean government

b. : free from looseness in sex relations : free from offensive treatment of sexual subjects and from the use of obscenity

c. : observing the rules : sportsmanlike , fair

a clean fighter

clean rivalry

d. slang : free from involvement in a matter under police investigation

e. slang : carrying no concealed weapons

4. : ceremonially or spiritually pure

… and took of every clean animal … and offered burnt offerings on the altar — Gen 8:20 (Revised Standard Version)

and all who are clean may eat flesh — Lev 7:19 (Revised Standard Version)


a. : so decisive, complete, or thoroughgoing as to leave no remainder, loose ends, or uncertainty

a clean sweep in the challenge round

making a clean break with his past

: outright , unreserved , incontestable

a clean beat for his paper

a clean miss with a torpedo

b. : precisely, deftly, or unerringly directed or executed especially without a trace of strain or awkwardness : faultless

every hunter, if he is a real sportsman, wants quick, clean kills — R.R.Camp

clean sword work required of a matador

some clean ballet technique

: showing no deficiency or deviation from a high standard of skill

a steeplechaser must be a clean jumper

c. sports : swiftly, skillfully, and decisively executed : free from error or misjudgment

a clean double play

or played or scored with a decided margin of success or safety

a clean single over second base

a clean backhand shot


a. : free from obstruction or encumbrance

and I envy the clean straight sweep of your mind — H.J.Laski

b. of cash : in hand subject to no deduction or further liability


(1) of a bond : free from any endorsement or marks

(2) of a bill of lading or ship's receipt : free from any statement about damage or poor condition of goods or containers

(3) of a draft or bill of exchange : free from attached documents


a. : having simplicity, definiteness, articulateness, and usually gracefulness of form

architecture with clean almost forbiddingly austere lines

specifically : constructed on fine sharp lines

a ship with a clean body slips through the water with little or no disturbance

b. in the arts : marked by straightforward presentation or concise composition : free from nonessential elements or affectation

a clean , spare, expressive prose style

specifically : precise and flawless in execution or reproduction

efforts to obtain a clean bass in orchestral recordings

c. : free from unevenness or irregularity of outline or partition

this saw leaves a clean edge

a sharp blow causing a clean break

d. archaic , of a party ticket : straight

e. of a horse's leg : free from curbs or bunches below the hock

f. of an airplane : well streamlined and free from external protuberances or projections that give rise to increased aerodynamic drag

g. radio & television : sharply defined and unwavering : free from distortion and interference

a speaker providing clean output


a. : empty especially of what might be expected to be carried or stocked

the whaling ship returned with a clean hold

b. slang : cleaned out of one's money : without funds


a. : having a distinctive, unmixed, and fresh quality to the senses

the clean scent of pine

a clean yellow

b. : marked by no failure or deficiency

a clean record of victories

10. of an atom bomb or hydrogen bomb : having little or no fallout

II. adverb

( sometimes -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English clene, from Old English clǣne clearly, purely, from clǣne, adjective


a. : in such a manner as to keep or leave free of dirt or refuse

a new broom sweeps clean

: without distortion or error

played the difficult piano accompaniment very clean

b. : in a manner free from cheating or unsportsmanlike conduct

play the game clean

he doesn't fight clean

c. archaic : precisely , unerringly

the arrow flew clean to the center of the target

2. : without qualification : thoroughly , entirely , completely

an area burned over clean

gone clean out of his head

thrown clean off balance

my own view is clean contrary — F.R.Leavis

: all the way

a bullet clean through the chest

clean back to colonial times

: far or remotely

living clean out in the sticks

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English clenen, from clene clean

transitive verb

1. : to make clean or free of dirt or any foreign or offensive matter: as

a. : to wash with water and soap or with any aqueous liquid medium

b. : to bathe, brush, or treat with an acid, alkaline, or organic agent, rub with an oil or cream, or sponge or swab with a disinfectant for removing undesired matter

clean a wound

c. : to wipe or polish especially with a solvent for removing grime

clean the domestic silver

d. : to free of dirt, refuse, or litter and set in order — often used with up

clean up the attic

e. : dry-clean


a. : to rid (land) of weeds and rubbish by cultivation — often used with up

b. : to scrape (a ship's bottom) free of accretions of barnacles and fouling matter

c. : to brush, scrape, or blow clean of dirt or other accumulation — often used with out

clean one's shoes before entering

specimens from an archaeological excavation need expert cleaning

clean out a drain


(1) : to brush (the teeth) with a cleanser, especially a dentifrice

(2) : to perform dental prophylaxis on (the teeth)

e. : to blast with grit for removing undesired accumulations

clean a brick wall of layers of paint

f. : to free (a surface) of what adheres, covers, or obstructs (as by brushing, wiping, or scraping) — often used with off

clean off a slate

clean flues

earning pocket money by cleaning sidewalks

hard to clean a windshield of a coating of sleet

g. : to remove cancellation marks from (a stamp) so as to give an appearance of being unused


a. : to remove the outer shell, husk, hull, or hairy appendages from

rough rice is cleaned before milling

b. : to free (as by screening) of dirt, chaff, stray weed seeds, and other foreign matter

clean grain coming from the thresher

c. : to gin (cotton)


a. : to remove the entrails from : gut , dress

clean fish, fowl, or game

b. : to strip bare or to empty of contents

the lumberjacks quickly cleaned the platter

the tree was cleaned of fruit by hurricane winds

a play that cleaned the board of the opponent's checkers

c. slang : to defeat decisively in a contest or competition — sometimes used with up

we took on their best bridge players and cleaned them

d. slang : to deprive wholly of money or possessions in a gambling game, by robbery, or through skulduggery or stock-market speculation — often used with out

they started cleaning him … bit by bit they were taking everything he had, his banks, his factories — Louis Bromfield

a few disastrous plunges and he found himself cleaned out

e. : to exhaust or strip clean

carp may clean a pond of indigenous fish


clean a roster of inactive members

f. baseball : to empty (the bases) by enabling all base runners to score

intransitive verb

: to undergo or perform a process of cleaning : become clean — often used with up

- clean house

IV. noun

( -s )

: an act of cleaning dirt especially from the surface of something

give footwear a daily clean with polish

V. adjective

1. slang : smartly dressed

2. : free from drug addiction

3. : having no contraband (as drugs) in one's possession

VI. verb

- clean one's clock

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.