clear one's name

clear (one's) name

To exonerate oneself or another of a criminal charge or allegation of wrongdoing. I was only accused of that crime because I look like the perpetrator, so I was able to clear my name. Good luck trying to clear your name once people think you've done something wrong.
See also: clear, name

clear one's name

Also, clear oneself. Prove someone (or oneself) innocent. For example, She not only wanted to be acquitted, she wanted to clear her name entirely. This locution employs the verb clear in the sense of "purify" or "wash away a stain." [Late 1400s]
See also: clear, name
References in periodicals archive ?
To correct wrongful listings on watch lists, travelers can go through the Department of Homeland Security's Travel Redress Inquiry Program, a procedure that helps clear one's name.
It can be a very lengthy and costly process" to clear one's name in such cases, he said.