clean

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See also: Clean

English[edit]

 clean on Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English clene, clane, from Old English clǣne (clean, pure), from Proto-West Germanic *klainī (shining, fine, splendid, tender), perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *glēy- (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).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

clean (comparative cleaner, superlative cleanest)

  1. (physical) Free of dirt or impurities.
    1. Not dirty, filthy, or soiled.
      Are these dishes clean?
      Your room is finally clean!
      For a baby, happiness is a full bottle and a clean diaper.
      • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter II, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, →OCLC; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., [], [1933], →OCLC:
        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. (aviation) Having the undercarriage and flaps in the up position.
      Antonym: dirty
    5. Empty.
      The cargo hold is clean.
      Mister, I want to see a clean dinner plate or there'll be no dessert for you.
    6. (of metal) Having relatively few impurities.
      clean steel
  2. (behavioural) Free of immorality or criminality.
    1. Pure, especially morally or religiously.
      Our kids can watch this movie because it is clean.
    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. (obsolete) Total; utter. (still in "clean sweep")
  5. (informal) Cool or neat.
    Wow, dude, those are some clean shoes ya got there!
  6. (health, of a person) Free of infection or disease.
    • 2023 October 14, HarryBlank, “Face Time”, in SCP Foundation[1], archived from the original on 23 May 2024:
      "Serious as cognitohazard." Lillihammer danced down the corridor towards them, doing little pirouettes and leaping from toe to toe. "Reuben Wirth no longer exists. Gonna have to get Forsythe to do that brain scan to make sure I'm clean, but otherwise yeah. Poof."
    1. (health) Devoid of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
      I want to make sure my fiancé is clean before we are married.
  7. That does not damage the environment.
    clean energy
    clean coal
  8. Free from that which is useless or injurious; without defects.
    clean land
    clean timber
  9. Free from restraint or neglect; complete; entire.
  10. Well-proportioned; shapely.
    clean limbs
  11. (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. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § 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.

Derived terms[edit]

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. (transitive, computing) To remove unnecessary files, etc. from (a directory, etc.).
  6. (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.
  7. (manga fandom slang) To purge a raw of any blemishes caused by the scanning process such as brown tinting and poor color contrast.
  8. (video games) Synonym of clean up
  9. To remove guts and/or scales of a butchered animal.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adverb[edit]

clean (comparative cleaner, superlative cleanest)

  1. Fully and completely.
    He was stabbed clean through.
    You must be clean mad.
    • 1897, Richard Marsh, The Beetle:
      So, since all my pains in his direction were clean thrown away, there was nothing left for me but to scurry back to Marjorie, — so I scurried, and I found the house empty, no one there, and Marjorie gone.
    • 1951 October, William B. Stocks, “A Few Miles from Huddersfield”, in Railway Magazine, page 701:
      A feat sometimes achieved by outstanding local athletes is to throw a cricket ball clean over the top [of the viaduct].
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      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.
  2. (professional wrestling slang) To defeat an opponent without using submission holds, disqualification, interference, etc. (i.e. by pinfall).

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Danish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English clean.

Adjective[edit]

clean (neuter clean, plural and definite singular attributive clean)

  1. drugfree, not having used recreational drugs

German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English clean. Doublet of klein.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

clean (strong nominative masculine singular cleaner, comparative cleaner, superlative am cleansten)

  1. (colloquial) clean, drugfree
    • 1984 March 26, “99 Luftballons und das Chaos der Gefühle”, in Der Spiegel[2], number 13:
      Nenas Image ist so clean, daß ein paar Zeitschriften nun nach dunklen Punkten suchen und sie erfinden, weil nichts zu finden ist.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)

Declension[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • clean” in Duden online
  • clean” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache

Manx[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Irish clíabán.

Noun[edit]

clean m (genitive singular clean, plural cleanyn)

  1. cradle (oscillating bed for a baby)
    Ta dooinney ny ghaa leaystey clean nagh vel bentyn da hene.
    There’s a man or two rocking the cradle of another man’s child.
  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.

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Bulgarian клян (kljan), from Proto-Slavic *klěnь.

Noun[edit]

clean m (plural cleni)

  1. chub (Squalius cephalus)

Declension[edit]