a clean sheet/slate

clean sheet

1. 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 with a clean sheet?
2. In sports, a game or series of games in which one side wins with the opposing side(s) being unable to score any points. Primarily heard in UK. The football team has kept a clean sheet for the last three games. I don't think anyone can score against them!
See also: clean, sheet

clean slate

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.
See also: clean, slate

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.
See also: clean, slate

a clean sheet

1. If you start something with a clean sheet, you start it again, with none of the problems or mistakes from the past. The Christmas break has allowed the Government to start the new year with a clean sheet. Given a clean sheet, what would you do? Note: You can also use the full expression a clean sheet of paper. We started with a clean sheet of paper, having put the past behind us.
2. In a football match, if a team keeps a clean sheet, no goals are scored against them. If Ipswich keep a clean sheet tonight, it will be their 27th of the season.
See also: clean, sheet

a clean sheet (or slate)

an absence of existing restraints or commitments.
2003 Guardian Given a clean slate and an impressive budget, I would love to programme a festival…that exposed audiences to completely new forms of music-making at their best and most diverse.
See also: clean, sheet

a clean ˈsheet/ˈslate

a record of your work or actions that does not show any mistakes or bad things that you have done: At the new school, you will start with a clean slate.They kept a clean sheet in the match (= no goals were scored against them).
See also: clean, sheet, slate