come clean

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come clean

To admit something to someone, often regarding a wrongdoing that one has tried to hide. We have to come clean with the police before Joe gets punished for our crime! The kids finally came clean about eating the cookies I'd made for the bake sale.
See also: clean, come

come clean (with someone) (about something)

Fig. to be honest with somebody about something. I want you to come clean with me about your financial status. Sam will come clean with me. I know he will.
See also: clean, come

come clean

Confess everything, as in If you come clean about what happened I will promise to keep it to myself. [Slang; early 1900s]
See also: clean, come

come clean

COMMON If you come clean about something, you tell the truth about it. I had expected her to come clean and confess that she only wrote these books for the money. It is now time for the Government to come clean, tell the world exactly how the recent tragedy happened and announce an investigation.
See also: clean, come

come clean

be completely honest and frank. informal
See also: clean, come

come ˈclean (with somebody) (about something)

(informal) tell the truth about something, especially after lying or keeping it secret: I’ll come clean with you — I’ve been reading your mail.He finally came clean and confessed.
See also: clean, come

come clean

verb
See also: clean, come

come clean

To confess all.
See also: clean, come
References in periodicals archive ?
Although Coming Clean examines only one sector, there is no reason to believe that pulp and paper is the only sector in which company reports are incomplete concerning environmental risks and differentials in environmental exposure between companies.
He may have a hard time convincing the courts to let him go ahead with a class-action suit, but that shouldn't stop the county from coming clean on whether it has properly refunded all the taxpayers it has overcharged.
He could play the game where it's just a wording scheme,'' said Steve Cohen, 39, a Republican, ``but I think coming clean will put it behind him.
Tristram Ricketts deserves plenty of credit (though he's unlikely to need any) for coming clean - 'in the interests of transparency' - over his salary and benefits package of pounds 215,344.
The Provos tried to clean up their image by coming clean over at least some of the Disappeared - and it appears loyalists are also trying to make a break with the past.
Towers states that federal agents told him ``that if I didn't help they would go for life (in prison) for me'' and explained that he was coming clean at this point, because ``he just got sick of lying.
Prezza was under fire after coming clean about a two-year fling with his secretary Tracey Temple.
Harry even lands a pretty good job at a computer company (though without coming clean about the nature of his hospitalization), and things look as good as they can for the shaky couple.
The MPs additionally accused Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon of not coming clean about the use of intelligence in a dossier.
I think there were a lot of people maybe scared into coming clean, because the equipment they are using here is so precise it can detect any drug residue.