Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to slate: Mother Jones
keep (one's) slate clean
To maintain an impeccable record; to refrain from committing any mistakes or wrongdoings. If Jeremy can keep his slate clean from now until his next hearing, they might be willing to release him from prison on parole. I know my time in rehab will work against me in the election, but I've kept my slate clean since then.
start over with a clean slate
To start (something) again with a fresh beginning, especially unencumbered by mistakes or regrets from the past. After that fiasco in Texas, I'm looking forward to starting over with a clean slate in Oregon. Things got so screwed up with the project that we had to scrap it about halfway through and start over again with a clean slate.
wipe (one's) slate clean
To erase the record of one's wrong-doings, likened to wiping the contents off of a piece of slate, formerly used as a reusable writing surface. I had been late a bunch of times, but after he heard that I'd been struggling so much at home, my boss said he would wipe my slate clean. Mom said she would wipe your slate clean if you pay for the vase you broke.
An opportunity to start fresh despite past mistakes or problems. I know we've had our differences, but I'd like to repair our friendship. Can we start over with a clean slate? I really appreciate you giving me a clean slate after I failed that first test.
start (off) with a clean slate
To start (something) again with a fresh beginning, especially unencumbered by mistakes or regrets from the past. After that fiasco in Texas, I'm looking forward to starting off with a clean slate in Oregon. I know things have not been great between us, but I'm willing to forget what happened and start with a clean slate.
slate someone or something for something
to schedule someone or something for some thing or a particular time. They slated me for a trip to Columbia, Missouri, in August. Wally slated the meeting room for his presentation.
*slated for something
scheduled for something. (As if a schedule had been written on a slate. *Typically: be ~; have someone ~.) John was slated for Friday's game, but he couldn't play with the team. Ann is slated for promotion next year.
slated to do something scheduled to do something
. (*Typically: be ~; have someone ~.) Mary is slated to go to Washington in the fall. We are slated to leave in November.
start (off) with a clean slateand start (over) with a clean slate
Fig. to start out again afresh; to ignore the past and start over again. I plowed under all last year's flowers so I could start with a clean slate next spring. If I start off with a clean slate, then I'll know exactly what each plant is. When Bob got out of jail, he started over with a clean slate.
wipe someone's slate clean and wipe the slate clean
Fig. to get rid of or erase someone's (bad) record. (As if erasing information recorded on a slate.) I'd like to wipe my slate clean and start all over again. Bob did badly in high school, but he wiped his slate clean and did a good job in college.
wipe the slate clean
to forget all past problems or mistakes and start something again Rogers hoped he could wipe the slate clean and forget about his failed business.
Usage notes: also used in the form have a clean slate: She wanted to have a clean slate to start with.
a clean slate
if you are given a clean slate, you can start something again, and all of the problems caused by you or other people in the past will be forgotten The company's debts have been paid so that the new manager can start with a clean slate.
A fresh start; another chance after wiping out old offenses or debts. This idiom often appears as wipe the slate clean. For example, Henry's boss assured him that the matter was finished and he could start with a clean slate , or He wished he could wipe the slate clean, but it was too late to salvage the relationship. This expression alludes to the slate boards on which school work or tavern bills were recorded in easily wiped-off chalk. Since 1850 or so the term has been used figuratively, and it has long outlived the practice of writing on slate.
slated for, be
Be planned or scheduled, as in The history test is slated for Thursday, or He's slated for a second round of auditions. [Late 1800s]
wipe the slate clean
see under clean slate.
1. To schedule or designate someone or something to take place at some time: Our professor has slated the history lecture for Thursday afternoon.
2. To arrange for something to be or to undergo something: The contractor has slated the building for destruction. This boss has slated me for a promotion.