clear the deck(s)

(redirected from cleared the decks)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.

clear the deck(s)

1. Literally, of sailors, to prepare for something (such as a battle) by removing or securing objects on the deck of a ship. That enemy ship is getting too close—clear the deck!
2. By extension, to cease doing something in preparation for a more important task or happening. I know you're busy with that paperwork, but clear the decks—I've got a big client coming in this afternoon.
3. To flee hastily; to depart quickly Uh oh, here comes mean old Mr. Jerome. Clear the decks, everyone! The staff cleared the decks when they saw the boss asking for volunteers to work on the weekend.
See also: clear

clear the decks

 
1. Lit. [for everyone] leave the deck of a ship and prepare for action. (A naval expression urging seaman to stow gear and prepare for battle or other action.) An attack is coming. Clear the decks.
2. Fig. get out of the way; get out of this area. Clear the decks! Here comes the teacher. Clear the decks and take your seats.
See also: clear, deck

clear the decks

Prepare for action, as in I've finished all these memos and cleared the decks for your project, or Clear the decks-here comes the coach. This expression originated in naval warfare, when it described preparing for battle by removing or fastening down all loose objects on the ship's decks. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: clear, deck

clear the decks

mainly BRITISH or

clear the deck

AMERICAN
COMMON If someone clears the decks, they finish what they are doing so that they are ready to start doing something else. The British commanders had wanted to clear the decks for possible large-scale military operations. Clear the decks before you think of taking on any more responsibilities. Note: In the past, all unnecessary objects were cleared off the decks or floors of a warship before a battle, so that the crew could move around more easily.
See also: clear, deck

clear the decks

prepare for a particular event or goal by dealing beforehand with anything that might hinder progress.
In the literal sense, clear the decks meant to remove obstacles or unwanted items from the decks of a ship before a battle at sea.
See also: clear, deck

clear the ˈdeck(s)

get ready for some activity by first dealing with anything not essential to it: We had been doing some painting in the dining room, so we had to spend some time clearing the decks before our visitors came round in the evening.
See also: clear, deck

clear the deck

Informal
To prepare for action.
See also: clear, deck
References in periodicals archive ?
THE government has cleared the decks to appoint Ashok K.
Aarushi's parents Rajesh and Nupur Talwar had filed a plea seeking review of its January 6 order in which the apex court had cleared the decks for the couple's trial in the murder case by dismissing their plea to quash criminal proceedings against them.
Evesham United boss Paul West has cleared the decks by releasing three of his players.
KIEREN FALLON has cleared the decks for another championship challenge after declaring himself a non-runner for the vacant job with Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle.
When Nelson saw off German Rudiger May in seven rounds in Essen last Saturday, following Maccarinelli's three-round defeat of Dane Jesper Kristiansen in his WBU defence at Newport the night before, it seemed to have cleared the decks for a big domestic showdown.
Having cleared the decks, we are confident that, as revenues grow and EFI returns to the black, these events will have a favorable impact on the bottom line," he added.