clear the deck

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clear the deck(s)

1. Literally, of sailors, to prepare for something (such as a battle) by removing or securing objects on the deck of a ship. That enemy ship is getting too close—clear the deck!
2. By extension, to cease doing something in preparation for a more important task or happening. I know you're busy with that paperwork, but clear the decks—I've got a big client coming in this afternoon.
3. To flee hastily; to depart quickly Uh oh, here comes mean old Mr. Jerome. Clear the decks, everyone! The staff cleared the decks when they saw the boss asking for volunteers to work on the weekend.
See also: clear
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

clear the ˈdeck(s)

get ready for some activity by first dealing with anything not essential to it: We had been doing some painting in the dining room, so we had to spend some time clearing the decks before our visitors came round in the evening.
See also: clear, deck
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

clear the deck

To prepare for action.
See also: clear, deck
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Adam Farrer, defending, said Beckford had 'contacted police to clear the decks' and said the police were supportive of a concurrent sentence for the outstanding offences.
He is one of a string of players set for the exit door as Spurs clear the decks this summer.
One has to wage war and clear the decks before one can do good.
TAMWORTH attempted to clear the decks this week with four players leaving the Lamb.
MILLWALL manager Dennis Wise is ready to clear the decks after paying pounds 750,000 for West Brom striker Scott Dobie.
WE are having to write off millions to clear the decks before Benitez can begin to make any signings.
If everyone else is on holiday then take the opportunity to clear the decks.
The live gig will showcase some of the new album by The Players, Clear The Decks, as well as giving advice to bands.
Whitley has had a number of bust-ups with Keegan in the past - and his departure signals the manager's desire to clear the decks.
The difference is that whereas our board of directors when they offered me the job said I didn't have to sell anybody and there's a bit of money to buy players, I think Coventry had to clear the decks.
The idea is that you clear the decks and begin betting on the next."
The Spaniard becomes Walsall's eighth signing since last season's relegation as Graydon continues to clear the decks in preparation for the launch of their Second Division campaign.
EDIN DZEKO is a pounds 25million target for Bayern Munich as Manchester City look to clear the decks so they can sign Robin van Persie.
He said: "My departure helped clear the decks and I think it has been the best thing for Hearts.
"This year some companies will be closing for a fortnight off and I would hope that a special effort will be made to clear the decks and make any necessary payments in time for Christmas."