clue

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Variant of clew (a ball of thread or yarn), from Middle English clewe, from Old English clēowen, clīewen (sphere, ball, skein; ball of thread or yarn; mass, group), from Proto-Germanic *kliuwīną, *klewô (ball, bale), from Proto-Indo-European *glew-, *gelew- (to amass, conglomerate; clump, ball, bale). Sense evolution with reference to the one which the mythical Theseus used to guide him out of the Minotaur's labyrinth. More at clew.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

clue (plural clues)

  1. (now rare) A strand of yarn etc. as used to guide one through a labyrinth; something which points the way, a guide.
    • 1897, Henry James, What Maisie Knew:
      she had even had in the past a small smug conviction that in the domestic labyrinth she always kept the clue.
  2. Information which may lead one to a certain point or conclusion.
  3. An object or a kind of indication which may be used as evidence.
  4. (slang) Insight or understanding ("to have a clue [about]" or "to have clue". See have a clue, clue stick)

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

clue (third-person singular simple present clues, present participle cluing or clueing, simple past and past participle clued)

  1. To provide with a clue (often used with "in" or "up").
    The crossword compiler wasn't sure how to clue the word "should".
  2. To provide someone with information which he or she lacks.
    Smith, clue Jones in on what's been happening.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]


Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

cluē

  1. second-person singular present active imperative of clueō