Definition of clue in English:
- Detectives piecing together clues in the inquiry remain confident they will catch the attacker.
- I reviewed all my efforts to make sure I hadn't missed even the slightest clue or piece of evidence.
- So could the details of his business life provide a clue to the killing?
- The site does not publish contact details for the creators or reveal any other clues to the identity of the organisation.
- She stared at the little card looking for clues that would reveal the identity of the sender.
- A trawl of all her friends has revealed no clues as to where she has gone.
- He ran the words through his mind, almost like a crossword clue.
- Cryptic clues in the crossword may be stand-alone or a combination of any of the following nine types.
- I still prefer the uncertainty and randomness of crossword clues.
verb (clues, clueing, clued)[with object] (clue someone in) informal Back to top
- But the fact that she was with another man and quite plainly ignoring him should have clued him in a little.
- Perhaps someone should also clue her in that that if you're going to be dishonest you don't want to leave a paper trail behind.
- For that matter, only the changing seasons clue us in to our geography.
not have a clue
- informal Know nothing about something or about how to do something.Example sentences
- But he admits he doesn't have a clue what terms like ‘world music’ and ‘global music’ mean.
- Our nice, but inexperienced, waiter explains to us that he is new and doesn't have a clue about the wine list, so we are left to peruse it whilst he fetches the aperitifs and the manageress.
- Poor thing, he doesn't have a clue what it's like for us mere mortals.
Late Middle English: variant of clew. The original sense was 'a ball of thread'; hence one used to guide a person out of a labyrinth (literally or figuratively). sense 1 of the noun dates from the early 17th century.
Our word clue is a modern spelling of the old word clew, ‘a ball of thread’. The idea here is of string or thread being used to guide a person out of a maze by tracing a path through it. The most famous example is that of the Greek hero Theseus, who killed the monstrous bull-headed Minotaur in its lair and then escaped from the Labyrinth, an underground maze of tunnels. This he was able to do because the princess Ariadne gave him a ball of twine, which he unravelled as he went in and followed back to find his way out again. From this a clue became anything that you can follow to get a solution.
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