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1. To rid a space or area of dirt, grime, or objects. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." Hand me that sponge so I can clean out the oven. How often do we need to clean out the rabbit's cage?
2. To impel people to leave a space or area. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." The sound of approaching sirens quickly cleaned out the high schooler's house party.
3. To remove things from a space or area. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." We need to clean all this junk out of the garage so that I can actually put my car in it!
4. To significantly deplete one's finances. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." I got cleaned out at the poker game last night, so can you pay for dinner? Christmas shopping this year really cleaned me out.
5. To rid a group or organization of someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." After five losing seasons, the team's owner cleaned out the front office.
6. To use a particular resource in its entirety. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." Unfortunately, that big event cleaned out our department's funds. It looks like we don't have any cookies left—the boys must have cleaned them out after school.
7. To cause one to thoroughly empty one's bowels. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clean" and "out." That bout of illness really cleaned me out.
1. Having significantly depleted finances. I'm cleaned out after the poker game last night, so can you pay for dinner? I just had all my bills come due at once, so I'm cleaned out right now.
2. Having been caused to thoroughly empty one's bowels. I am really cleaned out after that bout with the stomach bug.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
clean someone out
1. Fig. to get or use up all of someone's money. The bill for supper cleaned me out, and we couldn't go to the flick. The robbers cleaned out all the bank's cash.
2. Fig. to empty someone's bowels. That medicine I took really cleaned me out. Whatever was in that stew cleaned out every kid in the entire scout camp.
clean something out
to remove dirt or unwanted things from the inside of something. Someone has to clean the garage out. I'll clean out my closet tonight.
(of something) Go to fresh out (of something).
1. Fig. broke; with no money. I'm cleaned out. Not a cent left. Tom's cleaned out. How will he pay his bills now?
2. Fig. with one's digestive tract emptied. That medicine really left me cleaned out.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. See clean up, def. 1.
2. Empty something of its contents, leave bare. For example, The crows cleaned out the whole field of corn, or At the shop's first sale the customers cleaned out the entire stock of shoes. [Mid-1800s]
3. Deprive of money or other material resources. This usage originated in gambling, where it signified losing one's last stake. Charles Dickens had it in Oliver Twist (1838): "He has cleaned me out, but I can go and earn some more." [Early 1800s]
4. Drive out by force, as in The new CEO tried to get away with cleaning out all employees over the age of 60. [Mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To rid the inside of something of dirt, rubbish, or impurities: The zookeepers clean out the cages once a day. I cleaned the pan out with a scrub brush.
2. To empty some area of contents or occupants: The looters cleaned out the house. The comedian's bad jokes cleaned the place out.
3. Slang To drive or force out someone or some group: The police were determined to clean out the gangs. When the cowboys became too rowdy, the bartender picked up his shotgun and cleaned them out.
4. Slang To leave someone or something completely without money or material wealth: The robbery cleaned us out. The stock market crash cleaned out even careful investors.
5. Slang To deplete or use up all of some resource or supply: The thieves stole my bank card and cleaned out my account. Emergency supplies were already low, and the hurricane cleaned them out.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
clean someone out
1. tv. to get all of someone’s money. (see also cleaned out.) The bill for supper cleaned me out, and we couldn’t go to the flick.
2. tv. to empty someone’s bowels. (see also cleaned out.) That medicine I took really cleaned me out.
1. mod. broke; with no money. Tom’s cleaned out. He’s broke. He’ll have to go home.
2. mod. with one’s digestive tract emptied. That medicine really left me cleaned out.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.