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English definition of “clean”

clean

adjective uk   /kliːn/ us  

clean adjective (NOT DIRTY)

A1 not dirty: a clean white shirt clean air/water Make sure your hands are clean before you have your dinner. Hospitals need to be kept spotlessly (= extremely) clean.

clean adjective (HONEST)

C2 honest or fair, or showing that you have not done anything illegal: a good clean fight/contest The judge took the defendant's clean record (= the absence of previous involvement in crime) into account when passing sentence. I've always had a clean driving licence. It was a clean tackle. slang not doing anything illegal, or not having or carrying illegal drugs or stolen goods: The police busted Pete last night, but he was clean.

clean adjective (MORAL)

morally acceptable: It's all good clean fun. clean living not about sex: Can't you think of any clean jokes?

clean adjective (NOT ROUGH)

having no rough edges, and smooth, straight, or equally balanced: I've broken my leg, but the doctor says that it's a clean break, so it should heal easily. A good clean hit from Pietersen sent the ball straight out to the boundary. What he liked about the car was its clean lines. I tried to make a clean cut, but the knife wasn't sharp enough.

clean adjective (COMPLETE)

[before noun] complete: It's better for both of us if we make a clean break (of it) (= end our relationship completely). Sara says she needs a clean break with the past. The new prime minister is expected to make a clean sweep (= a complete change) of the government.

clean adjective (NOTHING ON)

[before noun] When something you write on is clean, there is nothing on it or it is not yet used: Take a clean sheet of paper.

clean

verb uk   /kliːn/ us  
A1 [T] to remove dirt from something: I'm going to clean the windows this morning. You should always clean your teeth after meals. Would you clean the fingermarks from/off the door? He asked her to help him clean out the stables. [I usually + adv/prep] to become clean: This carpet doesn't clean very well. I hope these bloodstains will clean off my shirt. [T] to prepare a fish or an animal killed for food by removing the inside parts of it that are not eaten

clean

noun [S] uk   /kliːn/ us  
when something is cleaned: These windows need a really thorough clean.

clean

adverb uk   /kliːn/ us  
completely: I clean forgot that I was supposed to be meeting Lucy last night. He's been cheating his customers for years, and getting clean away with it. The bullet went clean through his shoulder.
(Definition of clean from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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