Definition of “clear” - English Dictionary

“clear” in British English

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uk /klɪər/ us /klɪr/

clear adjective (ABLE TO BE UNDERSTOOD)

A2 easy to understand, hear, read, or see:

Can we make the sound any clearer?
Our new television has a very clear picture.
do I make myself clear? also is that clear?

something you say in order to emphasize what you have just said, or to express your authority:

I will not tolerate this behaviour any longer. Do I make myself clear?

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clear adjective (CERTAIN)

B1 certain, having no doubt, or obvious:

He isn't at all clear about what he wants to do with his life.
[ + (that) ] It is rapidly becoming clear (to me) (that) I'm not suited to being a teacher.
[ + question word ] It isn't clear how long the strike will go on for.
It's a clear case of corruption.
You've made your position quite clear (= there is no doubt about what you think).

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clear adjective (PURE)

B1 pure or easy to see through, with no marks or areas that are less transparent:

clear glass
The water in the lake is so clear that you can see the bottom.
We could see hundreds of stars in the clear desert sky.
She has a beautifully clear skin/complexion (= with no marks or spots).
The weather is expected to remain clear for the next few days.
You can see the mountains from here on a clear day.

used to describe a pleasant, pure sound:

the clear sound of the flute

used to describe something that you remember easily:

I have clear memories of visiting my grandfather's farm as a child.

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clear adjective (NOT BLOCKED)

C1 not covered or blocked by anything:

We have a clear view of the ocean from our hotel window.
The journey was quite quick because the road was clear (= there was not much traffic on it).
I always like to leave my desk clear (= with no work on it) at the end of the day.

not busy or filled by any planned activity:

The only time I have clear next week is Tuesday afternoon.
We've got two clear (= whole) weeks in which to finish the decorating.


uk /klɪər/ us /klɪr/

clear verb (REMOVE BLOCK)

B1 [ I or T ] to remove or get rid of whatever is blocking or filling something, or to stop being blocked or full:

It took several hours to clear the road after the accident.
I'll make the coffee if you'll clear the table.
If you use this nasal spray, your nose should clear.
After my aunt died, we arranged for her house to be cleared (= for the furniture to be removed from it).
If you press this key, the computer screen will clear (= the text and pictures will be removed from it).
Shops are currently holding sales to clear their summer stock (= get rid of goods by selling them cheaply).
Paul helped his elderly neighbour by clearing her path of snow/clearing snow from her path.
Could you clear your things off/from the sofa?
I never leave work until I've cleared my in-tray (= have finished the work that needs to be done).
clear your throat

to give a small cough:

She cleared her throat nervously before she began to speak.

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clear verb (PROVE INNOCENCE)

[ T ] to prove that someone is not guilty of something that they were accused of:

After many years in prison, the men were finally cleared of the bombings.

clear verb (GIVE PERMISSION)

[ T ] to give official permission for something:

Despite local opposition, the plans for the new supermarket have been cleared by the council.
Ladies and gentlemen, air-traffic control has now cleared the plane for take-off.
I don't know if I can get the car tonight - I'll have to clear it with Mum.

[ T ] to satisfy the official conditions of something:

Before you can enter the country, you have to clear customs.

clear verb (MAKE PURE)

[ I or T ] to become or make something pure or easy to see through:

The children enjoyed stirring the mud at the bottom of the pond, then watching the water slowly clear again.
Your skin would clear (= become free of spots) if you had a healthier diet.
After the thunderstorm, the sky cleared (= stopped being cloudy).
The fog is expected to have cleared (away) (= gone) by midday.

clear verb (NOT CONFUSED)

[ T ] to make your mind free from confusion so that you can think quickly and well:

I need to get some fresh air to clear my head (= to make me able to think well).

clear verb (NOT TOUCH)

[ T ] to jump or go over something without touching it:

The horse cleared the fence with inches to spare.


uk /klɪər/ us /klɪr/

not touching, or away from:

Stand clear of the doors, please.
Make sure you park clear of the kerb.
The children were saved from the fire only because a neighbour pulled them clear.
steer/stay/keep clear

C2 to avoid something or someone:

His parents warned him to steer clear of trouble.

(Definition of “clear” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“clear” in American English

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clearadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /klɪər/

clear adjective [ -er/-est only ] (UNDERSTANDABLE)

easy to understand, or easy to see or hear:

I left clear instructions that no one was to come in my office.
He spoke in a clear voice.
It wasn’t clear what he meant.

clear adjective [ -er/-est only ] (CERTAIN)

certain or obvious; not in any doubt:

[ + that clause ] It’s clear now that it was a mistake to have raised prices last spring.
[ + question word ] It isn’t clear how long the strike will continue.

clear adjective [ -er/-est only ] (NOT CONFUSED)

free from confusion; able to think quickly and well:

Mary is good at making decisions because she’s a very clear thinker.

clear adjective [ -er/-est only ] (SEEING THROUGH)

easy to see through; not cloudy or foggy:

clear water
a clear day
fig. I have clear memories of (= I can remember well) visiting my grandfather’s farm when I was a child.

If a person’s skin is clear, it has no marks or spots on it:

a clear complexion

clear adjective [ -er/-est only ] (BE NOT GUILTY)

free from guilt:

My conscience is clear – I did what I could to help her.

clear adjective [ -er/-est only ] (GET RID OF)

not blocked or filled; open or available:

We have a clear view of the ocean from our hotel window.
The only time the doctor has clear today is 3:30 – can you make it then?


us /klɪr/

clear verb (MAKE NOT GUILTY)

[ T ] to show someone to be not guilty:

He was cleared of all charges, and the judge said he was free to go.

clear verb (GET RID OF)

[ T ] to remove or get rid of something or remove something blocking the way, or to move people away from a place:

It took several hours to clear the road after the accident.
Please clear the aisle and take your seats.
[ M ] Just let me clear the dishes off the table and put them in the sink.

clear verb (NOT TOUCH)

[ I/T ] to pass near something without touching it:

[ I ] With the high-jump bar at 6 feet 2 inches, she cleared easily.

clear verb (GIVE PERMISSION)

[ T ] to give official permission for something, or to satisfy the official conditions of something:

Our plane has been cleared for takeoff, so will the flight attendants please be seated.
I’m still waiting for my paycheck to clear (= be officially approved and processed) so I can pay my bills.

(Definition of “clear” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“clear” in Business English

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uk /klɪər/ us

[ T ] FINANCE if you clear a debt, you pay back all of the money that you owe:

Customers should consider clearing their overdrafts and credit card debt before applying for a home loan.
By cutting costs and scaling back production, the company managed to clear its debts in under two years.

[ T ] informal FINANCE to have a particular sum of money left from the amount you have earned after taxes, etc. have been taken out:

A city police officer clears about $1,300 every other week.

[ T ] ACCOUNTING to have a particular amount of money as profit:

After operating expenses, the resort group cleared $546 million.

[ I or T ] BANKING if a cheque or payment clears, or if a bank clears it, money is available because it has been successfully paid from one bank to another:

You will not be able to withdraw funds until the bank has cleared your cheque.
International wire transfers may take several business days to clear.

[ T ] FINANCE to arrange for shares and money to be exchanged at the end of a day of trading on a financial market

[ T ] to give or get official permission for something:

clear sth with sb Make sure you clear the budget with you boss first.
be cleared for sth Passenger flights outbound from the airport are often cleared for take off only 60 seconds apart.
be cleared by sb/sth Employees were cleared by security before they were allowed into the building.
clear a proposal/deal/plan

[ T ] LAW to prove that someone is not guilty of something:

clear sb of sth An independent review has cleared the company of all charges of fraud.
Accused of professional misconduct, he was eventually able to clear his name.

[ T ] COMMERCE to sell products at a cheap price in order to get rid of them:

Bob's Auto Dealers is having a huge sale to clear its inventory of last year's trucks.
clear customs also clear through customs

COMMERCE to be checked by an official and allowed into a country:

A driver will be waiting to pick you up after you clear customs and immigration.
Once shipments clear through customs they are moved to distributors or warehouses.
clear your desk

to take all your possessions away from your desk or office because you have been told to leave your job:

He was given just two hours to clear his desk and get out.

to finish all your work:

He likes to clear his desk by the end of the day.
clear your schedule/diary/calendar

to change all of your plans so you have time to do something else:

The President cleared his calendar for the afternoon conference .

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “clear” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)