clean up

(redirected from cleaning it up)

clean out

1. To rid a space or area of dirt, grime, or objects. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." Hand me that sponge so I can clean out the oven. How often do we need to clean out the rabbit's cage?
2. To impel people to leave a space or area. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." The sound of approaching sirens quickly cleaned out the high schooler's house party.
3. To remove things from a space or area. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." We need to clean all this junk out of the garage so that I can actually put my car in it!
4. To significantly deplete one's finances. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." I got cleaned out at the poker game last night, so can you pay for dinner? Christmas shopping this year really cleaned me out.
5. To rid a group or organization of someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." After five losing seasons, the team's owner cleaned out the front office.
6. To use a particular resource in its entirety. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." Unfortunately, that big event cleaned out our department's funds. It looks like we don't have any cookies left—the boys must have cleaned them out after school.
7. To cause one to thoroughly empty one's bowels. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." That bout of illness really cleaned me out.
See also: clean, out

clean up

1. To clean; to make a person or space cleaner or neater in appearance; to tidy up. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "up." You really need to clean up your room. It's like a pigsty in there! Get me a sponge so I can clean this sticky table up. I cleaned up at the thrift store—look at all this neat stuff I got for five bucks!
2. To obtain a lot of earnings, winnings, or desired goods (most often money) from a particular venture or action. I'm buying you dinner because I really cleaned up at the poker game last night! If our little invention gets mass-produced, we'll clean up!
3. To stop the practice of illegal or seedy behavior or activities in a particular place. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "up." This part of town used to be dominated by the drug trade until the police were able to clean it up.
4. To easily attain victory (typically over an opponent). Half the players on that team were sidelined with injuries, so we cleaned up.
5. To refine something (such as a piece of writing) by removing errors, inconsistences, offensive elements, etc. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "up." I paid an editor to clean up my manuscript, and after that I got multiple offers! No radio station will play this song as-is—you need to clean it up a bit and remove the foul language.
6. To address, rectify, or complete something. You go ahead up to the room—I'll clean up the paperwork at the front desk.
See also: clean, up

clean someone out

 
1. Fig. to get or use up all of someone's money. The bill for supper cleaned me out, and we couldn't go to the flick. The robbers cleaned out all the bank's cash.
2. Fig. to empty someone's bowels. That medicine I took really cleaned me out. Whatever was in that stew cleaned out every kid in the entire scout camp.
See also: clean, out

clean something out

to remove dirt or unwanted things from the inside of something. Someone has to clean the garage out. I'll clean out my closet tonight.
See also: clean, out

clean out

(of something) Go to fresh out (of something).
See also: clean, out

clean someone or something up

to get someone or something clean. Please go into the bathroom and clean yourself up. I'll clean up the kids before we leave for dinner. Can you clean this place up a little?
See also: clean, up

clean up (on something)

Fig. to make a lot of money on something. The promoters cleaned up on the product. If we get this invention to market soon, we can clean up.
See also: clean, up

wash someone or something up

 
1. to clean up someone or something by washing. Please wash the baby up as long as you are changing the diaper. I'll wash up the baby. Sam will wash himself up before dinner.
2. [for water or the waves] to bring someone or something up onto the shore or beach. Look what the waves washed up! A bottle with a note in it! The waves washed a bottle up.
See also: up, wash

wash someone up

to terminate someone in something. This error is going to wash you up as an account executive. That washed me up. Problems like this have washed up quite a few careers.
See also: up, wash

wash up (for something)

to clean [oneself] up for something, such as a meal. Please wash up for dinner. Go and wash up!
See also: up, wash

clean out

1. See clean up, def. 1.
2. Empty something of its contents, leave bare. For example, The crows cleaned out the whole field of corn, or At the shop's first sale the customers cleaned out the entire stock of shoes. [Mid-1800s]
3. Deprive of money or other material resources. This usage originated in gambling, where it signified losing one's last stake. Charles Dickens had it in Oliver Twist (1838): "He has cleaned me out, but I can go and earn some more." [Early 1800s]
4. Drive out by force, as in The new CEO tried to get away with cleaning out all employees over the age of 60. [Mid-1800s]
See also: clean, out

clean up

1. Also, clean out. Make clean or orderly, as in She cleaned up the cellar after the flood, or Dad said he cleaned out the garage. [First half of 1800s]
2. Also, wash up. Wash or tidy oneself, as in Do I have time to clean up before dinner?
3. Settle or dispose of, as in He cleaned up all the bills that had arrived during his vacation.
4. Bring to a certain standard of order or morality, as in This script won't do; we'll have to clean up the language. Applied to personal behavior, it also is put as clean up one's act, as in He'll have to clean up his act and obey the rules. [c. 1900]
5. Succeed, especially financially, as in We had fantastic luck at the races and really cleaned up. [Slang; first half of 1800s]
6. Also, clean up on. Defeat or vanquish, kill, as in We're cleaning up all the other teams, or With enough ammunition we could clean up on this pocket of snipers. [Slang; mid-1800s]
See also: clean, up

wash up

1. Wash one's hands and face, as in It's time to wash up for dinner. [First half of 1900s] Also see clean up, def. 2.
2. Clean the utensils after a meal, as in I'll cook dinner if you promise to wash up. [Mid-1700s] Also see do the dishes.
3. Bring about the end or ruin of; finish. This usage is often used put in the passive, be washed up, as in She's all washed up as a singer. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
See also: up, wash

clean out

v.
1. To rid the inside of something of dirt, rubbish, or impurities: The zookeepers clean out the cages once a day. I cleaned the pan out with a scrub brush.
2. To empty some area of contents or occupants: The looters cleaned out the house. The comedian's bad jokes cleaned the place out.
3. Slang To drive or force out someone or some group: The police were determined to clean out the gangs. When the cowboys became too rowdy, the bartender picked up his shotgun and cleaned them out.
4. Slang To leave someone or something completely without money or material wealth: The robbery cleaned us out. The stock market crash cleaned out even careful investors.
5. Slang To deplete or use up all of some resource or supply: The thieves stole my bank card and cleaned out my account. Emergency supplies were already low, and the hurricane cleaned them out.
See also: clean, out

clean up

v.
1. To make someone or something clean, neat, or presentable: My brother stayed late and helped me clean up the apartment after the party. After I got home from work, I cleaned myself up for dinner.
2. To get rid of dirt, rubbish, or impurities: Volunteers helped clean up the oil spill. I cleaned the broken glass up before anyone could step on it.
3. To rid something or some place of crime or immoral behavior: The government promised to clean up the corrupt judicial system. The mayor cleaned the neighborhood up and made it safe for residents.
4. Slang To make a large amount of money, often in a short period of time: Investors cleaned up when the company struck oil.
See also: clean, up

wash up

v.
1. To carry something ashore by the action of water: The current washed up some cargo from the sunken ship. The tide washed some seaweed up on shore.
2. To be carried ashore by the action of water: This piece of driftwood washed up onto the beach.
3. To wash one's hands: Please wash up before dinner.
4. To wash dishes after a meal: Whose turn is it to wash up?
See also: up, wash

clean up

verb
See also: clean, up