clean sheet

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a clean sheet (of paper)

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 of paper? After that fiasco in Texas, I'm moving to Oregon so I can have a clean sheet. Let's get all this financial stuff finished before the end of December so that we can have a clean sheet of paper for the start of the year.
See also: clean, sheet

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Clean sheets are always a priority for a defender.
The closest competitors to the pair areChelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga and England number one Jordan Pickford, who both have 13 clean sheets.
"As defenders, a clean sheet is our target, that's why we play and we try to put in that hard work.
The only other keeper who can catch him for the most number of clean sheets is compatriot Ederson.
=And Hughes was overjoyed by the clean sheet, adding: "We've been giving away silly goals, avoidable goals, so I am trying to change the mentality of the players.
OXFORD keeper Simon Eastwood is not fussed about clean sheets as long as the U's stay in League One.
Wednesday's win at St James' Park marked De Gea's first clean sheet since November 24 - and he was understandably happy.
"We toughed it out, kept a clean sheet and that was important; it gave us a platform.
Promoted in 2nd place P46 F77 A 41 Usual defence: Schwarzer, Fleming, Festa, Vickers, Pearson, Kinder Clean sheets: 18 1-0 wins: 8 0-0 draws: 2 Best sequence: 4 games (April) Goals leaked after 11 games: 12 Clean sheets after 11 games: 1 2015-16 Aitor Karanka built a formidable frame work and a clean sheet machine.
That's our fourth clean sheet in five in the league and it shows how hard the team are working.
WOLVES head coach Nuno Espirito Santo is looking to bookend the international break with another clean sheet against Burnley today.
In the end, the early goal gave Rovers something to hold on to - and Rangers loanee Kieran Wright kept his first clean sheet of the season, and Rovers' second.
That great season in Division Four 60 years ago also saw a clean sheet count of 18, equalling the record set in 1938-39.
But the Boro boss said: "The clean sheet against Leeds was as pleasing to me as the three goals.