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. © 2015 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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
clear the deckInformal
To prepare for action.
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.