American English

Definition of clean adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    clean

     adjective
    adjective
    NAmE//klin//
     
    (cleaner, cleanest)
     
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    not dirty
  1. 1 not dirty Are your hands clean? to wipe something clean The hotel was spotlessly (= extremely)clean. Keep your room neat and clean. I can't find a clean shirt (= one I haven't worn since it was washed).
  2. 2having a clean appearance and clean surroundings Cats are very clean animals.
  3. not harmful
  4. 3 free from harmful or unpleasant substances clean drinking water clean air We all want a cleaner environment, but who is going to pay for it? cleaner cars (= not producing so many harmful substances) Electric buses are a clean, environmentally friendly way to travel.
  5. paper
  6. 4[usually before noun] with nothing written on it a clean sheet of paper
  7. smooth/simple
  8. 5having a smooth edge, surface, or shape; simple and regular A sharp knife makes a clean cut. a modern design with clean lines
  9. not illegal
  10. 6 not showing or having any record of doing something that is against the law a clean driver's license a clean police record
  11. 7 (informal) not owning or carrying anything illegal such as drugs or weapons The police searched her, but she was clean.
  12. fair
  13. 8played or done in a fair way and within the rules It was a tough but clean game.
  14. not offensive
  15. 9 not offensive or referring to sex; not doing anything that is considered immoral or bad The movie was good, clean fun for the whole family. Keep the jokes clean, please! The sport has a very clean image.
  16. accurate
  17. 10done in a skillful and accurate way The plane made a clean takeoff.
  18. taste/smell
  19. 11tasting, smelling, or looking pleasant and fresh The wine has a clean taste and a lovely golden color. compare unclean
  20. Idioms
    as clean as a whistle (informal)
     
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    very clean
    a clean bill of health
     
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    a report that says someone is healthy or that something is in good condition Doctors gave him a clean bill of health after a series of tests and examinations. The building was given a clean bill of health by the surveyor.
      a clean break
       
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    1. 1a complete separation from a person, an organization, a way of life, etc. She wanted to make a clean break with the past.
    2. 2a break in a bone in one place
    a clean slate
     
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    a record of your work or behavior that does not show any mistakes or bad things that you have done No government operates with a completely clean slate.
    keep your nose clean (informal)
     
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    to avoid doing anything wrong or illegal Since leaving prison, he's managed to keep his nose clean.
      make a clean sweep (of something)
       
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    1. 1 to win all the prizes or parts of a game or competition; to win an election completely China made a clean sweep of the medals in the gymnastics events. The opinion poll suggests a clean sweep for the Democrats.
    2. 2to remove all the people or things from an organization that are thought to be unnecessary or need changing The new manager made a clean sweep of the department.
    Mr. Clean (informal)
     
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    a man, especially a politician, who is considered to be very honest and good The scandal destroyed his image as Mr. Clean.
    wipe the slate clean
     
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    to agree to forget about past mistakes or arguments and start again with a relationship
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: clean