clear the deck(s)

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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

clear the decks

 
1. Lit. [for everyone] leave the deck of a ship and prepare for action. (A naval expression urging seaman to stow gear and prepare for battle or other action.) An attack is coming. Clear the decks.
2. Fig. get out of the way; get out of this area. Clear the decks! Here comes the teacher. Clear the decks and take your seats.
See also: clear, deck

clear the decks

Prepare for action, as in I've finished all these memos and cleared the decks for your project, or Clear the decks-here comes the coach. This expression originated in naval warfare, when it described preparing for battle by removing or fastening down all loose objects on the ship's decks. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: clear, deck

clear the decks

mainly BRITISH or

clear the deck

AMERICAN
COMMON If someone clears the decks, they finish what they are doing so that they are ready to start doing something else. The British commanders had wanted to clear the decks for possible large-scale military operations. Clear the decks before you think of taking on any more responsibilities. Note: In the past, all unnecessary objects were cleared off the decks or floors of a warship before a battle, so that the crew could move around more easily.
See also: clear, deck

clear the decks

prepare for a particular event or goal by dealing beforehand with anything that might hinder progress.
In the literal sense, clear the decks meant to remove obstacles or unwanted items from the decks of a ship before a battle at sea.
See also: clear, deck

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

clear the deck

Informal
To prepare for action.
See also: clear, deck
References in periodicals archive ?
The Delhi High Court had on Tuesday allowed the BCCI to conduct its Special General Meeting in Chennai on Wednesday, clearing the deck for the BCCI to impose a life ban on Modi over charges of alleged financial irregularities while heading the cash-rich IPL from 2008 to 2010.
People have too much going on to be clearing the decks at that time to go to games that aren't terribly appealing as it is.
WITH the Supreme Court clearing the decks for nursery admissions in the Capital, schools are waiting for directions from the Directorate of Education ( DoE) to decide their course of action.
NEXT STAGE IN THE greenhouse we've been clearing the decks, chucking out tomatoes and cucumbers not worth hanging on to.
Take time to make plans for the future over relationships by tackling minor items on your snagging list and clearing the decks.
He added: "We are clearing the decks, cutting the red tape, cutting back on bureaucracy, making it possible for policemen and women to spend far more time on the beat answering people's inquiries, in touch with local communities - a visible presence on the beat so that more and more people will see a policeman or woman there and able to help them.
World Cup winning coach Jake White's tenure as South Africa boss looks set to end in December - clearing the decks to pursue any potential interest from England.
BROMSGROVE Rovers boss Rod Brown is prepared to give some of his players another chance before clearing the decks at the Victoria Ground.
His call for a quick deal has fuelled speculation that he is clearing the decks for a snap October election.
It will be a seventh final for three times former champions Midlothian, after clearing the decks on all four rinks for an overwhelming 110-51 victory over Auchinleck at Edinburgh.
The good ne ws is that by clearing the decks Royal& Sun will be able to get on with restructuring (and selling) its United States businesses, the growth of which date back a century to the San Francisco earthquake.
After clearing the decks at the end of the campaign, McAllister's rebuilding operation is well under way and the Scot has added Albion Rovers' highly-rated 'keeper Scott Shearer to the roster as well as snapping up Wrexham hot-shot Andy Morrell, the third division's top scorer last term, and 21year-old Graham Barrett from Arsenal.
One wonders whether some information might have been presented in lists or in appendices, clearing the decks for a more readable analysis of the culture.