Definition of clear in English:

clear

Line breaks: clear
Pronunciation: /klɪə
 
/

adjective

1Easy to perceive, understand, or interpret: clear and precise directions her handwriting was clear am I making myself clear?
More example sentences
  • The audio is quite good for a mono track, with dialogue clear and easy to understand.
  • I hope I am making myself clear, because you bring up a good point with this, for me.
  • There has been extensive market research and field trials of various sample maps to ensure that the new maps are clear and easy to read.
Synonyms
understandable, comprehensible, intelligible, easy to understand, plain, direct, uncomplicated, explicit, lucid, perspicuous, coherent, logical, distinct, simple, straightforward, clearly expressed, unambiguous, clear-cut, crystal clear, accessible, user-friendly;
informal Anglo-Saxon
1.1Leaving no doubt; obvious or unambiguous: it was clear that they were in a trap a clear case of poisoning
More example sentences
  • But the evidence that the family was blighted already seemed abundantly clear.
  • I was not with her in Greece but the press reports of her remarks seem abundantly clear.
  • The rules provide a fairly clear indication of what past practice was.
Synonyms
1.2Having or feeling no doubt or confusion: every pupil must be clear about what is expected
More example sentences
  • I learned that one ought to try to have a clear idea of where you're wanting to go.
  • Its editor has a clear idea of why things took off.
  • Let's get a clear idea what we want it to look like when it's done.
2(Of a substance) transparent; unclouded: the clear glass of the French windows a stream of clear water
More example sentences
  • He pauses to pour ice water into a clear glass tumbler, and drinks from it heartily.
  • A little water spilled over the blue top, speckling the darkly varnished wood with clear droplets of water.
  • People are encouraged to begin to drink and eat as soon as they feel ready, starting with clear fluids such as water or apple juice.
Synonyms
2.1Free of cloud, mist, or rain: the day was fine and clear
More example sentences
  • The view from the window may not be as clear and free of cloud as we would wish.
  • Much as I delight in really dramatic sunsets, there's a special, quiet joy to be had when the sky is clear of clouds.
  • Peering into an evening sky, clear of clouds, is one of life's more rewarding moments.
Synonyms
2.2(Of a person’s skin) free from blemishes: Norma’s clear skin did not need a heavy foundation
More example sentences
  • He was doing far worse than the last time I saw him when his skin was almost clear.
  • Her skin used to be clear, but now it was blotchy and there were still a few nasty bruises on her bony legs.
  • He had clear olive skin, short brown hair and the most intense brown eyes she had ever seen.
Synonyms
unblemished, spot-free;
fresh
2.3(Of a colour) pure and intense: clear blue delphiniums
More example sentences
  • It could be produced in many bright, clear colours, and had long life and durability.
  • It's a silvery world of mauves, soft greens and occasional outbursts of clear colour.
  • I could see the clock at the other side of the room and all the colours were so clear.
2.4 archaic (Of a fire) burning with little smoke: a bright, clear flame
More example sentences
  • As it heated he held his hands close to the clear flame, worked his knuckles loose.
3Free of any obstructions or unwanted objects: with a clear road ahead he shifted into high gear I had a clear view in both directions
More example sentences
  • In a car sit in the front seat if possible so you can get a clear view of the road.
  • But even inside the exclusion zone, the middle of the road was quite clear of snow.
  • In heavy rain, the fastest speed of the windscreen wipers is inadequate to keep the view ahead clear.
Synonyms
3.1(Of a period of time) free of any appointments or commitments: the following Saturday, Mattie had a clear day
More example sentences
  • Chose a clear day to mend a broken fence covered in a climber, as it will be a time-consuming job to untie and untangle the plant.
3.2 [predicative] (Of a person) free of something undesirable or unpleasant: after 18 months of treatment he was clear of TB
More example sentences
  • He began to improve within days, and as far as the doctors can tell, he is now clear of the cancer.
  • A fund was set up in her name, and she is now clear of leukemia and back in Baghdad with her family.
  • Chris is a naturally fit guy, and as soon as he was clear of injury he was ready to come back into the team.
Synonyms
free, devoid, empty, vacant, void;
rid, relieved;
without, unaffected by, no longer affected by
3.3(Of a person’s mind) free of anything that impairs logical thought: in the morning, with a clear head, she would tackle all her problems
More example sentences
  • And once the decision had been made, his mind was clear and he was free to play the way he knew he could.
  • The void is full of potential, just like a clear mind free of eccentricities, prejudices and egos.
  • We'll need clear minds tomorrow and for the rest of the four weeks.
3.4(Of a person’s conscience) free of guilt: I left the house with a clear conscience
More example sentences
  • If I woke up some morning and said it was not for me, I'd have an absolutely clear conscience.
  • Of course this could just be my tortured logic enabling me to vote for him with a clear conscience…
  • Politics, in many ways, does not delight in a clear conscience and clean hands.
Synonyms
untroubled, undisturbed, unworried, unperturbed, unconcerned, unbothered, with no qualms;
innocent, guiltless, guilt-free, blameless, clean, sinless, stainless, unimpeachable, irreproachable
4 (clear of) Not touching; away from: the lorry was wedged in the ditch, one wheel clear of the ground
More example sentences
  • His grateful passengers disembark and head for their cars, parked on either side of the road clear of the water.
5 [attributive] Complete; full: you must give seven clear days' notice of the meeting
5.1(Of a sum of money) net: a clear profit of £1,100
6 Phonetics Denoting a palatalized form of the sound of the letter l (as in leaf in south-eastern English speech). Often contrasted with dark.

adverb

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1So as to be out of the way of or away from: he leapt clear of the car stand clear, I’ll start the plane up
More example sentences
  • Always keep your fingers well clear of their claws.
  • Native birds, he said, were not at risk because they stayed clear of the starling horde.
  • The older woman was thrown clear of the vehicle and received only minor injuries.
Synonyms
away from, apart from, beyond, at a distance from, at a safe distance from, out of contact with
1.1So as not to be obstructed or cluttered: the floor had been swept clear of litter
2Completely: he had time to get clear away
More example sentences
  • He stepped forward and embraced his son, lifting him clear off the ground.
  • John glared back at him, tempted to shove him clear off the railing.
Synonyms
2.1 (clear to) chiefly North American All the way to: you could see clear to the bottom of the lagoon

verb

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1Make or become clear, in particular:
1.1 [with object] Remove an obstruction or unwanted item or items from: the drive had been cleared of snow Carolyn cleared the table and washed up
More example sentences
  • The ship's dining room has been cleared of the tables and the last dance has just finished.
  • It has been cleared of rats and other introduced predators.
  • This island was named by Captain Cook and has been cleared of rats and vermin so as to be used as a bird sanctuary.
1.2 [with object] Free (land) for cultivation or building by removing vegetation or existing structures: the embankment was cleared for a new section of line
More example sentences
  • These early families set to work clearing the land, building shelters, and planting crops.
  • The lithic finds, many of which are arrow heads, date back to the days of the forest, before the low-lying coastal lands were cleared and cultivated.
  • The farmers cleared the land, cultivated rye and flax, and raised cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry.
1.3 [with object] Cause people to leave (a building or place): the wardens shouted a warning and cleared the streets
More example sentences
  • Forty staff from Westminster then helped workers from the Royal Parks to clear the Mall and neighbouring parks.
  • We thought that they would take our warning seriously and clear the building.
  • They have assisted in clearing buildings and homes, because it's a manpower-intensive battle in the urban terrain.
Synonyms
evacuate, empty, make empty, make vacant;
leave
1.4 [no object] Gradually go away or disappear: the fever clears in two to four weeks the mist had cleared away
More example sentences
  • The smoke cleared to reveal the floor covered with black and dark green snakes of all lengths and speeds.
  • Stand by your brand in slow times, and watch it grow when the storm clears.
  • Or, a company may need so much drastic fixing that a full-timer would just be resented too much if he stayed after the storm cleared.
Synonyms
1.5 [no object] Become free of cloud or rain: we’ll go out if the weather clears
More example sentences
  • After weeks of fog, wind and rain the weather suddenly cleared to allow for a helicopter trip to try and locate them.
  • After a week of heavy rain the weather cleared just in time for the first event of 2004.
  • The skies slowly cleared and the cumulus clouds got friendlier as the day went on.
1.6 [no object] (Of a person’s face or expression) assume a happier aspect following confusion or distress: for a moment, Sam was confused; then his expression cleared
More example sentences
  • She looked confused by my good manners, then her face cleared as if the sun had just dawned.
  • They talked more openly when they knew I was a dancer, their faces cleared with recognition when I told them where I worked, and some looked envious.
  • But then his face cleared and became calm suddenly.
2 [with object] Remove (an obstruction or unwanted item) from somewhere: Karen cleared the dirty plates park staff cleared away dead trees
More example sentences
  • They whispered to the tall man as they cleared dirty plates off the table and replaced them with platters of desserts.
  • These volunteers spent a few hours removing the sand from the footpath and clearing the seaweed from the slipway leading onto the beach.
  • That has forced manufacturers to rely on deep price cuts to clear their unwanted inventories.
Synonyms
get rid of, throw out/away, discard, dispose of, dump, bin, scrap, do away with, jettison, eject, eliminate, throw on the scrapheap
British informal get shot of
North American informal trash
2.1(In soccer and other sports) send (the ball) away from the area near one’s goal: McAllister’s lob was cleared off the line by Kernaghan [no object]: Clarke headed towards the net but Nicol cleared
More example sentences
  • The shot hit the post before being cleared to safety.
  • However his angled shot went across the goal and was cleared to safety.
  • The next thing to remember when clearing into triple threat is to never, and I mean never, take and put the ball up over your head immediately.
2.2Discharge (a debt): at the moment I’m clearing debts
More example sentences
  • A student in debt is trying to clear his overdraft by starting a website to help others manage their cash.
  • There are evil guys to fend off; there is a debt to be cleared.
  • After the debt has been cleared, and a better standard of player purchased, what then?
Synonyms
pay off, pay, repay, settle, discharge, square, make good, honour, defray, satisfy, account for, remit, liquidate
3 [with object] Get past or over (something) safely or without touching it: the plane rose high enough to clear the trees she cleared 1.50 metres in the high jump
More example sentences
  • As he was still moving, the SUV roared past, barely clearing his car.
  • You can see he clearly was not picked up high enough and barely cleared the ropes.
  • They nimbly cleared bows of fallen trees as they ran, pushing their legs to go faster and harder.
Synonyms
4 [with object] Officially show or declare (someone) to be innocent: his sport’s ruling body had cleared him of cheating
More example sentences
  • So even if he's cleared in both those appeals, it's not definite that he will go back into the team?
  • She spent 18 nightmare months in jail before the evidence on her double murder conviction was discredited and she was cleared on appeal in December 2003.
  • An independent appeal panel cleared her in July 1995 after doubt was cast as to the accuracy of the tests carried out.
Synonyms
acquit, declare innocent, find not guilty;
5 [with object] Give official approval or authorization to: I cleared him to return to his squadron
More example sentences
  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Bill has been cleared by the Union cabinet.
  • It is true that there is evidence that some returnees have been persecuted for and convicted of war crimes despite being included in any amnesty or cleared by the authorities before return.
  • Once a request has been made by the office of a federal lawmaker on behalf of a citizen wanting to visit the facility, it must be cleared by higher authorities.
Synonyms
authorize, give permission, permit, allow, pass, accept, endorse, license, sanction, give approval to, give one's seal of approval to, give consent to
informal OK, give the OK, give the thumbs up, give the green light, give the go-ahead
5.1Satisfy the necessary requirements to pass through (customs): I can help her to clear customs quickly
More example sentences
  • When we have been cleared by Canadian customs we will be billeted and taken to church halls and primary schools in school buses.
  • Will I have to pay any special duties or fines before being cleared by customs at the airport?
  • I handed in my luggage at the counter, had my passport checked, was cleared by a customs officer and entered the restricted area.
5.2(With reference to a cheque) pass through a clearing house so that the money goes into the payee’s account: [no object]: there were more than sufficient funds in the account for both cheques to clear [with object]: the cheque could not be cleared until Monday
More example sentences
  • The worst accounts take up to ten days to clear cheques for interest purposes!
  • After receiving the cheque, he paid it into his branch, on June 28, and went back three days later to ask the cashier if the cheque had been cleared.
  • He was arrested in the bank as he waited for the cheque to be cleared.
6 [with object] Earn or gain (an amount of money) as a net profit: I would hope to clear £50,000 profit from each match
More example sentences
  • The company cleared $188 million in profits in the last two years.
Synonyms
net, make a profit of, realize a profit of, take home, pocket;
gain, earn, make, get, acquire, secure, reap, bring in, pull in, be paid
informal rake in

Origin

Middle English: from Old French cler, from Latin clarus.

Phrases

clear the air

Make the air less humid: storms were supposed to clear the air
More example sentences
  • Although the rain makes a pleasant change from the heat of the weekend, it hasn't cleared the air.
Defuse an angry or tense situation by frank discussion: it’s time a few things were said to clear the air
More example sentences
  • The discussions cleared the air and as a parliamentary party we need to make it clear that we won't tolerate people briefing behind the scenes.
  • We agreed to facilitate a public meeting in order to get discussion going, and so hope to clear the air.
  • He accepted the progress report hasn't been discussed and offered to attend a special meeting to clear the air over the 100 or so outstanding issues.
Synonyms
restore harmony, make peace, reconcile differences;

(as) clear as a bell

see bell1.

(as) clear as day

Very easy to see or understand: I saw him clear as day the reason for Peter’s evasiveness was suddenly as clear as day
More example sentences
  • Looking around, she noticed she could see clear as day.
  • But when you actually saw the written evidence it was as clear as day.
  • She recognized her own handwriting as clear as day on the back of the picture as he flipped it around.

(as) clear as mud

informal Not at all easy to understand: what the statement really means is still as clear as mud
More example sentences
  • As I suspected, all is clear as mud at this point.
  • The next steps are clear as mud.
  • The strangely murky waters of the UK's broadband market were stirred up once again last week, making things clear as mud, as usual.

clear the decks

Prepare for an event or course of action by dealing with anything that might hinder progress: the company’s sale of Australian investments cleared the decks for expansion in the UK
More example sentences
  • ‘Obviously now things have blown and people are clearing the decks and I just think anyone who's got anything to say should say it now,’ she said.
  • Your Honours, may I clear the decks so far as the facts which of course are not as factual inquiry before this Court but without which we cannot win.
  • He is to abandon two central planks of the government's crime legislation as he clears the decks before announcing the start of the general election campaign, expected in the next two days.

clear one's lines

Rugby & Soccer Make a kick sending the ball well upfield from near one’s own goal line: nowadays wings must be able to clear their lines with all the authority of a fullback
More example sentences
  • The opening 10 minutes saw Redhill take the game to their hosts, who were forced to resort to clearing their lines by kicking the ball out of play.
  • The strong wind allowed them to clear their lines by kicking upfield.
  • They were resorting to using aerial balls to clear their lines.

clear the name of

Show to be innocent: the spokesman released a statement attempting to clear his client’s name
More example sentences
  • But families still fight for years to clear the name of loved ones who were put to death.
  • Legalization will not only make it safer for users but it will clear the name of the estimated 600,000 Canadians who have been convicted of simple cannabis possession.
  • And the findings will try to clear the name of the warship's commander whose career was ruined by a subsequent court martial.

clear the table

Remove dishes and cutlery from a table after a meal: afterwards, he cleared the table and washed up
More example sentences
  • A small Thai girl who completely cleared the table with ruthless efficiency did not go unnoticed.
  • Nobody will ask you to clear the table once you are finished.
  • In his haste to clear the table, he'd clumsily knocked most of the papers onto the floor.

clear one's throat

Cough slightly so as to speak more clearly, attract attention, or to express hesitancy before saying something awkward: he cleared his throat and spoke loudly Sarah had to clear her throat before answering
More example sentences
  • Matt awkwardly clears his throat and begins to speak.
  • I coughed, partly to clear my throat, partly to demand full attention.
  • He was suffering from a heavy cold which caused him to sniffle, blow his nose, cough and clear his throat throughout his 135-minute performance.

clear the way

Remove an obstacle or hindrance to allow progress: the ruling could be enough to clear the way for impeachment proceedings [in imperative]: Stand back, there! Clear the way!
More example sentences
  • I also hope that this will now clear the way for speedy progress on the initiative to find a suitable home for a memorial to the Women of the Second World War.
  • We are there to breach obstacles and clear the way for the fighting troops.
  • The union is trying to sell its latest deal by promising that the pay entrenchment clause will be removed, clearing the way for further secondary pay increases.

in clear

Not in code: the Russian staff practice of sending radio messages and orders in clear
More example sentences
  • At Army Group level the Russians were using simple codes, but lower formations sent radio signals in clear.

in the clear

1No longer in danger or under suspicion: the information put her in the clear
More example sentences
  • Then I was in the clear, free from any desire to smoke.
  • But we also saw the light and knew that by Thursday we would be in the clear.
  • So, it's still not in the clear, by any stretch of the imagination.
2With nothing to hinder one in achieving something: a cross from O’Neill left Hughes in the clear with not even the goalkeeper to beat
More example sentences
  • Another fine chance went begging midway through the half when he cleverly put him in the clear, but for once the ace marksman's finishing let him down.
  • Their only genuine chance of the half came on 34 minutes when Lee Nogan seized on a bad pass, drew a Cheltenham defender and released Michael Proctor in the clear.
  • Just before the half hour, a inocuous-looking pass deceived Aberdeen's central defence, and he was in the clear.

out of a clear sky

As a complete surprise: his moods blew up suddenly out of a clear sky
More example sentences
  • Aware that such social tornadoes can twist towards them out of a clear sky, governments have learned to be cautious.
  • When angered, people burn, things break and fly around, lightning may strike out of a clear sky.
  • I've heard of lightning coming out of a clear sky.

Phrasal verbs

clear off (or out)

[usually in imperative] informal Go away: ‘Clear off!’ he yelled
More example sentences
  • He's had two children by her and then in 2002 he clears off.
Synonyms
go away, get out, leave;
be off with you!, shoo!, make yourself scarce!, on your way!
informal beat it, push off, clear out, shove off, scram, scoot, skedaddle, buzz off
British informal hop it, sling your hook
Australian/New Zealand informal rack off
North American informal bug off, take a hike
South African informal voetsak, hamba
vulgar slang piss off, bugger off
archaic begone

clear something out

Remove the contents from something so as to tidy it or free it for alternative use: they told her to clear out her desk by the next day
More example sentences
  • I'm afraid you'll have to clear your desk out by the end of the day.
  • Hospital and nursing home patients were cleared out and truckloads of water, ice and ready-made meals and rescue and medical teams were put on standby.
  • All flower beds have been cleared out, trees have been planted, shrubs have been pruned and a general clean-up is takin place around the village.

clear up

1(Of an illness or other medical condition) become cured: all my health problems cleared up
More example sentences
  • After taking medication, Sarah's condition appeared to clear up.
  • They offer to change your life by clearing up chronic conditions, lifting depressions, boosting your immune system and making you happy as well as healthy.
  • The condition usually clears up within 7 to 14 days.
2(Of the weather) become brighter: I said I would fix the roof when the weather clears up
More example sentences
  • If the weather clears up a little we might even go camping.
  • Of course, the weather soon cleared up again and July started nicely.
  • The weather has cleared up a lot and it's now sunny, but still windy.
2.1(Of rain) stop: the drizzle looked unlikely to clear up
More example sentences
  • And after three days of heavy rain, it cleared up minutes before the ceremony.
  • There didn't seem to be quite a big a rush at first this year, but they began to pack in as the day went on, when the rain cleared up.
  • The rain even cleared up by the time we got to the registry office which meant we could take photos outside.

clear something up

1 (also clear up) Tidy something up by removing rubbish or other unwanted items: Thomas decided to clear up his cottage he asked the youths to clear up their litter I keep meaning to come down here and clear up
More example sentences
  • ‘The council needs to do something about it, and I don't just mean clearing it up and moving the youths on,’ he said.
  • Mr Messy was very messy and asked Mr Clean and Mr Tidy to clear up his house.
  • An obsessively tidy man, he clears up after Elizabeth cooks.
Synonyms
empty, empty out, void, make vacant;
tidy, tidy up, clear up, clean
informal dejunk
tidy, tidy up, put in order, straighten up, clean up, put to rights, make shipshape, spruce up
2Solve or explain something: he wanted to clear up some misconceptions
More example sentences
  • Unless misconceptions were cleared up here at the very beginning, they were likely to reinforce already existing prejudices.
  • I'm not necessarily telling you this to scare you or something, but I figured this could clear some things up.
  • Tim briefly explained what Grandpa had told to him, hopefully clearing things up.
Synonyms
solve, resolve, straighten out, find an/the answer to, answer, find the key to, decipher, break, get to the bottom of, make head or tail of, piece together, explain, expound;
unravel, untangle, elucidate
informal crack, figure out, suss out
3Cure an illness or other medical condition: folk customs prescribed sage tea to clear up measles
More example sentences
  • The ailment becomes the cure and the symptoms are cleared up not by their actual remedy, but by our ignorant submission or our willful hypnosis to another glossy spin and a catchy jingle.
  • If your teenager has bad acne, your GP can prescribe medication to help clear it up.
  • Luckily, a German pharmacist understood my sign language and sold me a miracle cure that cleared it up in a few days.

Derivatives

clearable

adjective
More example sentences
  • A study was conducted to identify the types, amounts, and radiological properties of potentially clearable soils.
  • The stapling apparatus is mounted and supported such that staple jams within the stapler head are clearable by an ordinary user of the reproduction machine.
  • The chip is an extension of already available clearable devices.

clearness

noun
More example sentences
  • Its advantages to him seemed to lie primarily in the fact that it can lead to much greater clearness and precision.
  • The warmth and humbleness of the material helps, as does the lovely clearness and simplicity of the outline.
  • It was about eleven o’ clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills.

Definition of clear in: