clean slate

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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 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
References in periodicals archive ?
"We have a clean slate to work from, and we are planting for energy conservation," says Nancy Masterson, AMERICAN FORESTS' southeast regional coordinator and a 17-year resident of south Dade County.
The basic concept of the campaign, together with a list of patrons and some examples of `slate cleaning' appear in a Clean Slate Guide which has been widely distributed.
Sir Cliff Richard commented, `A new Millennium, a new start, a clean slate. It makes sense!' And a student added that the idea was `cool and moral'.
In the campaign's birthplace, Oxford, the Lord Mayor, Val Smith, launched the idea of a Clean Slate Week in the town hall.
Wouldn't it be great, I thought, if we could have a Clean Slate Campaign before the new Millennium?'
The hope of its organizers is that the experience will give those who try it a taste for new beginnings--and that living with a clean slate will become the habit of a lifetime.