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clear definition


This page has 44 definitions of clear in English. Clear is an adjective, an adverb, verb and noun. Examples of how to use clear in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Clear


Alternative forms

  • CLR (contraction used in electronics)


From Middle English clere, from Anglo-Norman cler, from Old French cler (Modern French clair), from Latin clarus. Displaced native Middle English schir (clear, pure) (from Old English scīr (clear, bright)), Middle English skere (clear, sheer) (from Old English scǣre and Old Norse skǣr (sheer, clear, pure)), Middle English smolt (clear (of mind), serene) (from Old English smolt (peaceful, serene)). Cognate with Danish klar, Dutch klaar, French clair, German klar, Italian chiaro, Norwegian klar, Portuguese claro, Romanian clar, Spanish claro, and Swedish klar.



clear (comparative clearer, superlative clearest)

  1. Transparent in colour.
    as clear as crystal
  2. Bright; luminous; not dark or obscured.
    The windshield was clear and clean.
    Congress passed the President’s Clear Skies legislation.
  3. Free of obstacles.
    The driver had mistakenly thought the intersection was clear.
    The coast is clear.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path []. It twisted and turned, [] and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn. And, back of the lawn, was a big, old-fashioned house, with piazzas stretching in front of it, and all blazing with lights. 'Twas the house I'd seen the roof of from the beach.
  4. Without clouds.
    clear weather; a clear day
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314:
      Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. The clear light of the bright autumn morning had no terrors for youth and health like hers.
  5. (meteorology) Of the sky, such that less than one eighth of its area is obscured by clouds.
  6. Free of ambiguity or doubt.
    He gave clear instructions not to bother him at work.
    Do I make myself clear? Crystal clear.
    I'm still not quite clear on what some of these words mean.
    • 2013 June 8, “The new masters and commanders”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 52:
      From the ground, Colombo’s port does not look like much. [] But viewed from high up in one of the growing number of skyscrapers in Sri Lanka’s capital, it is clear that something extraordinary is happening: China is creating a shipping hub just 200 miles from India’s southern tip.
    • 2021 June 30, Anthony Lambert, “A railway station fit for the 21st century”, in RAIL, number 934, page 42:
      NR Chairman Sir Peter Hendy had made it clear that he didn't want anything that smacked of the bus shelters seen at many small, usually unstaffed stations.
  7. Distinct, sharp, well-marked.
    Synonym: conspicuous
  8. (figuratively) Free of guilt, or suspicion.
    a clear conscience
    • 1754, Alexander Pope, “Verses occasioned by Mr. Addison's treatise of medals”, in Joseph Addison, Dialogues Upon the Usefulness of Ancient Medals, page 5:
      Statesman, yet friend to truth! in soul sincere,
      In action faithful, and in honour clear
  9. (of a soup) Without a thickening ingredient.
  10. Possessing little or no perceptible stimulus.
    clear of texture; clear of odor
  11. (Scientology) Free from the influence of engrams; see Clear (Scientology).
    • 1971, Leonard Cohen, "Famous Blue Raincoat":
      Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair. She said that you gave it to her that night that you planned to go clear. Did you ever go clear?
  12. Able to perceive clearly; keen; acute; penetrating; discriminating.
    a clear intellect; a clear head
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IX”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      Mother of Science, Now I feel thy Power
      Within me cleere, not onely to diſcerne
      Things in thir Cauſes, but to trace the wayes
      Of higheſt Agents
  13. Not clouded with passion; serene; cheerful.
  14. Easily or distinctly heard; audible.
    • c. 1708, Alexander Pope “Ode On St. Cecilia's Day”:
      Hark! the numbers, soft and clear
      Gently steal upon the ear
  15. Unmixed; entirely pure.
    clear sand
  16. Without defects or blemishes, such as freckles or knots.
    a clear complexion; clear lumber
  17. Without diminution; in full; net.
    a clear profit
    • 1728, Jonathan Swift “Horace, Lib. 2, Sat. 6”:
      I often wished that I had clear
      For life, six hundred pounds a year
  18. (of a railway signal) Showing a green aspect, allowing a train to proceed past it.
    • 2022 January 12, Benedict le Vay, “The heroes of Soham...”, in RAIL, number 948, page 42:
      The signals were clear to allow the train through Soham, as it steadily approached.




Derived terms

Terms derived from clear (adjective)

Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


clear (not comparable)

  1. All the way; entirely.
    I threw it clear across the river to the other side.
  2. Not near something or touching it.
    Stand clear of the rails, a train is coming.
  3. Free (or separate) from others.
    • 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1 - 0 Bolton”, in BBC[1]:
      Much soul-searching is going on at the west London club who, just seven weeks ago, were five points clear at the top of the table and playing with the verve with which they won the title last season.
  4. In a clear manner; plainly.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book XII”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      Now clear I understand
      What oft my steadiest thoughts have searched in vain
    • 1988, Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses:
      I want you to know how he spoke: he spoke loud, and he spoke clear.
    • 1992, Orson Scott Card, Cruel Miracles:
      Can't they see for themselves? Course not. Looks like dust to them, so they can't see it clear at all
    • 2005, Sammatha Crosby Scott, There's a War Inside of Me, page 111:
      I would get very short with people and speak clear of my feelings without consideration of their feelings.
    • 2009, Stephen James Shore, Annalea A Princess in Exile, page 160:
      Then I heard clear your mother's voice, crying out in distress!
    • 2010, Jack Mayatt, A Better Man: An Inspirational Book, page 20:
      Now when God called him, Moses told God immediately that he could not speak clear enough to be this leader.

Derived terms



clear (third-person singular simple present clears, present participle clearing, simple past and past participle cleared)

  1. (transitive) To remove obstructions, impediments or other unwanted items from.
    Police took two hours to clear the road.
    If you clear the table, I'll wash up.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; and she looked it, always trim and trig and smooth of surface like a converted yacht cleared for action.
      Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, [].
    • 1715–8, Matthew Prior, “Alma: or, The Progreſs of the Mind” in Poems on Several Occaſions (1741), canto III, p.297:
      Faith, Dick, I muſt confeſs, ’tis true
      (But this is only Entre Nous)
      That many knotty Points there are,
      Which All diſcuſs, but Few can clear.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 7, in The China Governess[2]:
      ‘Children crawled over each other like little grey worms in the gutters,’ he said. ‘The only red things about them were their buttocks and they were raw. Their faces looked as if snails had slimed on them and their mothers were like great sick beasts whose byres had never been cleared. []
    • 2013 June 29, “Unspontaneous combustion”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 29:
      Since the mid-1980s, when Indonesia first began to clear its bountiful forests on an industrial scale in favour of lucrative palm-oil plantations, “haze” has become an almost annual occurrence in South-East Asia. The cheapest way to clear logged woodland is to burn it, producing an acrid cloud of foul white smoke that, carried by the wind, can cover hundreds, or even thousands, of square miles.
  2. (transitive) To remove (items or material) so as to leave something unobstructed or open.
    Please clear all this stuff off the table.
    The loggers came and cleared the trees.
    • 1711 November 6, Joseph Addison, The Spectator No. 215:
      [] Aristotle has brought to explain his Doctrine of Substantial Forms, when he tells us that a Statue lies hid in a Block of Marble; and that the Art of the statuary only clears away the superfluous Matter, and removes the Rubbish.
  3. (intransitive) To leave abruptly; to clear off or clear out.
    • 1899 Feb, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, page 199:
      Then the whole population cleared into the forest, expecting all kinds of calamities to happen, while, on the other hand, the steamer Fresleven commanded left also in a bad panic, in charge of the engineer, I believe.
  4. (intransitive) To become free from obstruction or obscurement; to become transparent.
    When the road cleared we continued our journey.
    After a heavy rain, the sky cleared nicely for the evening.
    Shake the test tube well, and the liquid should slowly clear.
  5. (transitive) To eliminate ambiguity or doubt from (a matter); to clarify or resolve; to clear up.
    We need to clear this issue once and for all.
  6. (transitive) To remove from suspicion, especially of having committed a crime.
    The court cleared the man of murder.
    • 1713, John Dryden, “Preface”, in Fables Antient and Modern:
      [] yet I appeal to the reader, and am sure he will clear me from Partiality.
    • 1713, Joseph Addison, Cato, a Tragedy, Act III, scene v:
      How! Wouldst thou clear rebellion?
  7. (transitive) To pass without interference; to miss.
    The door just barely clears the table as it closes.
    The leaping horse easily cleared the hurdles.
  8. (transitive, activities such as jumping or throwing) To exceed a stated mark.
    She was the first female high jumper to clear two metres.
  9. (transitive, video games) To finish or complete (a stage, challenge, or game).
    I cleared the first level in 36 seconds.
  10. (intransitive) Of a check or financial transaction, to go through as payment; to be processed so that the money is transferred.
    The check might not clear for a couple of days.
  11. (transitive, business) To earn a profit of; to net.
    He's been clearing seven thousand a week.
    • 1843, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James II[3], volume I, chapter V:
      The profit which she cleared on the cargo [] cannot be estimated at less than a thousand guineas.
  12. (transitive) To approve or authorise for a particular purpose or action; to give clearance to.
    Air traffic control cleared the plane to land.
    The marketing department has cleared the press release for publication.
  13. (transitive) To obtain approval or authorisation in respect of.
    I've cleared the press release with the marketing department, so go ahead and publish it.
  14. (intransitive) To obtain a clearance.
    The steamer cleared for Liverpool today.
  15. (transitive) To obtain permission to use (a sample of copyrighted audio) in another track.
  16. To disengage oneself from incumbrances, distress, or entanglements; to become free.
    • 1613, Francis Bacon, The Eſſaies (second edition), essay 18: “Of Expences”:
      Beſides, he that cleares at once will relapſe: for finding himſelfe out of ſtraights, he will reuert to his cuſtomes. But hee that cleareth by degrees, induceth an habite of frugality, and gaineth as well vpon his minde, as vpon his Eſtate.
  17. (transitive, intransitive, sports) To hit, kick, head, punch etc. (a ball, puck) away in order to defend one's goal.
    The goalkeeper rushed forward to clear the ball.
    A low cross came in, and Smith cleared.
    • 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1-0 Bolton”, in BBC[4]:
      Bolton then went even closer when Elmander's cross was met by a bullet header from Holden, which forced a wonderful tip over from Cech before Drogba then cleared the resulting corner off the line.
  18. (transitive, computing) To reset or unset; to return to an empty state or to zero.
    to clear an array;  to clear a single bit (binary digit) in a value
  19. (transitive, computing) To style (an element within a document) so that it is not permitted to float at a given position.
    • 2010, Andy Harris, HTML, XHTML and CSS All-In-One For Dummies, page 290:
      To get the footer acting right, you need to float it and clear it on both margins.


  • (clear a forest): stub

Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


clear (plural clears)

  1. (carpentry) Full extent; distance between extreme limits; especially; the distance between the nearest surfaces of two bodies, or the space between walls.
    a room ten feet square in the clear
  2. (video games) The completion of a stage or challenge, or of the whole game.
    It took me weeks to achieve a one-credit clear (1CC).
  3. (Scientology) A person who is free from the influence of engrams.
    • 1985, Rodney Stark, William Sims Bainbridge, The Future of Religion (page 269)
      Today, clear status can be conferred only by high ranking ministers of the church, and clears are not presented for examination by outsiders.

See also


  • clear at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • clear in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911