clean

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English clene, clane, from Old English clǣne (clean, pure, chaste, innocent, unencumbered, unfettered, hallowed, clear, open, honorable, true, acute, sagacious, intellectual), from Proto-Germanic *klainiz (shining, fine, splendid, tender), from Proto-Indo-European *g(e)lēi- (gleaming), from Proto-Indo-European *gel- (to gleam). Cognate with Scots clean (absolute, pure, clear, empty) and clene, clane (clean), North Frisian klien (small), Dutch klein (small), Low German kleen (small), German klein (small), Swedish klen (weak, feeble, delicate), Icelandic klénn (poor, feeble, petty, snug, puny, cheesy, lame). Displaced Old English sȳfre (clean, sober), hlūtor (pure, clear, clean, bright).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

clean (comparative cleaner, superlative cleanest)

  1. (heading, physical) Free of dirt or impurities or protruberances.
    1. Not dirty.
      Are these dishes clean?  Your room is finally clean!
      • 1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger, chapter II:
        Then his sallow face brightened, for the hall had been carefully furnished, and was very clean. ¶ There was a neat hat-and-umbrella stand, and the stranger's weary feet fell soft on a good, serviceable dark-red drugget, which matched in colour the flock-paper on the walls.
    2. In an unmarked condition.
      Put a clean sheet of paper into the printer.
    3. (aerodynamics) Allowing an uninterrupted flow over surfaces, without protrusions such as racks or landing gear.
    4. Empty.
      The cargo hold is clean.  Mister, I want to see a clean dinner plate or there'll be no dessert for you.
    5. (of metal) Having relatively few impurities.
      clean steel
  2. (heading, behavioural) Free of immorality or criminality.
    1. Pure, especially morally or religiously.
      Our kids can watch this movie because it is clean.
      • Bible, Psalms li.10:
        Create in me a clean heart, O God.
      • Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
        That I am whole, and clean, and meet for Heaven.
    2. Not having used drugs or alcohol.
      I've been clean this time for eight months.
    3. (of criminal, driving, etc. records) Without restrictions or penalties, or someone having such a record.
      Unlike you, I’ve never caused any accidents — my record is still clean!
    4. (informal) Not in possession of weapons or contraband such as drugs.
      I’m clean, officer. You can go ahead and search me if you want.
    5. (informal) Devoid of profanity.
  3. Smooth, exact, and performed well.
    I’ll need a sharper knife to make clean cuts.  a clean leap over a fence
  4. (informal) Cool or neat.
    Wow, Dude, those are some clean shoes ya got there!
  5. (health) Being free of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
    I want to make sure my fiancé is clean before we are married.
  6. Which doesn’t damage the environment.
    clean energy;  clean coal
  7. Free from that which is useless or injurious; without defects.
    clean land;  clean timber
  8. Free from restraint or neglect; complete; entire.
    • Bible, Leviticus xxiii.22:
      When ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of corners of thy field.
  9. Well-proportioned; shapely.
    clean limbs
  10. (climbing, of a route) Ascended without falling.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Noun[edit]

clean (plural cleans)

  1. Removal of dirt.
    This place needs a clean.
  2. (weightlifting) The first part of the event clean and jerk in which the weight is brought from the ground to the shoulders.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

clean (third-person singular simple present cleans, present participle cleaning, simple past and past participle cleaned)

  1. (transitive) To remove dirt from a place or object.
    Can you clean the windows today?
  2. (transitive) To tidy up, make a place neat.
    Clean your room right now!
  3. (transitive, climbing) To remove equipment from a climbing route after it was previously lead climbed.
  4. (intransitive) To make things clean in general.
    She just likes to clean. That’s why I married her.
  5. (intransitive, curling) To brush the ice lightly in front of a moving rock to remove any debris and ensure a correct line; less vigorous than a sweep.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Adverb[edit]

clean (comparative cleaner, superlative cleanest)

  1. Fully and completely.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, The China Governess[1]:
      The huge square box, parquet-floored and high-ceilinged, had been arranged to display a suite of bedroom furniture designed and made in the halcyon days of the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when modish taste was just due to go clean out of fashion for the best part of the next hundred years.
    He was stabbed clean through.
    You must be clean mad.

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Manx[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Irish clíabán.

Noun[edit]

clean m (genitive clean, plural cleanyn)

  1. cradle (oscillating bed for a baby)
  2. cot
  3. cage (of birds)
  4. pannier

Mutation[edit]

Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
clean chlean glean
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.