American English

Definition of clean verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they clean
    he / she / it cleans
    past simple cleaned
    -ing form cleaning
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] clean (something) to make something free from dirt or dust by washing or rubbing it to clean the windows/bathroom/floor to clean a woundThe villa is cleaned twice a week. I spent all day cooking and cleaning. see also dry-clean, spring-cleaning
  2. 2[intransitive] to become clean This oven cleans easily (= is easy to clean).
  3. 3[transitive] clean something = dry-clean This coat is filthy. I'll have it cleaned.
  4. 4[transitive] clean something to remove the inside parts of a fish, chicken, etc. before you cook it Clean the fish and remove the backbone.
  5. Thesauruscleanwash rinse cleanse dry-cleanThese words all mean to remove dirt from something, especially by using water and/or soap.clean to remove dirt or dust from something, especially by using water or chemicals:The house is cleaned twice a week.wash to remove dirt from something using water and usually soap:He quickly washed his hands and face. These jeans need to be washed.rinse to remove dirt, etc. from something using clean water only, not soap; to remove the soap from something with clean water after washing it:Rinse the cooked pasta with boiling water. Make sure you rinse out all the soap.cleanse to clean something or make it pure, especially your skin or a wounddry-clean to clean clothes using chemicals instead of waterPatterns to clean/wash/rinse/cleanse something in/with something to clean/wash/rinse/cleanse something from something to clean/wash/cleanse a wound to clean/wash the car/floor to wash/rinse your hair to have something cleaned/washed/dry-cleanedIdioms
      clean house
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    1. 1to remove people or things that are not necessary or wanted The new manager said he wanted to clean house.
    2. 2to make your house clean
    clean up your act (informal)
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    to start behaving in a moral or responsible way He cleaned up his act and got a job.
    Phrasal Verbsclean something off/from somethingclean somethingoutclean somebody outclean somebody/something outclean (yourself) upclean upclean somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: clean