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clear (one's) lines
In rugby and soccer, to kick the ball from or near one's own goal line far up the field. Though their opponents have been bringing continuous offensive pressure, the home team's defense has been there each time to clear their lines.
clear (one's) mind
To free one's mind of negative, intrusive, or chaotic thoughts; to achieve mental calm and serenity. Take a deep breath and clear your mind—you've got too many conflicting thoughts impeding your ability to think clearly. I always meditate for half an hour when I wake up to help me clear my mind at the start of the day.
clear (something) for publication
To confirm that something is ready to be published; to approve for publication. We need to clear this story for publication as soon as possible so we get it out there before any of our competitors.
clear (something) from (something)
To remove something, often multiple objects, from a particular place or surface. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clear" and "from." Just clear those books from the desk and stack them over here.
See also: clear
1. To move someone or something aside, especially if it causes an obstruction or is no longer needed. Now that I've cleared away those overgrown bushes, our living room gets so much more sunlight! Tell the busboys to go and clear away all the dinner plates so that we can start serving dessert.
2. To move away from something. The sound of approaching sirens caused most of the partiers to clear away.
1. To remove something, often multiple objects, from a particular place or surface. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "clear" and "off." Just clear those books off the desk and stack them over here.
2. To leave a place. Often used as an imperative. You all clear off, or I'll call the cops!
3. To become clear or sunny, as of the sky after a period of clouds or fog. It sure became a beautiful, sunny day once the fog cleared off!
1. To remove things from a space or area. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clear" and "out." The kids always seem to relish clearing out their desks at the end of the school year. We need to clear some of this junk out of the garage so that I can actually put my car in it!
2. To leave a place, perhaps quickly. The staff cleared out when they saw the boss asking for volunteers to work on the weekend. Clear out, everyone. We are now closed.
3. To impel or force to leave a place. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clear" and "out." If we call the cops, they'll clear out that raucous house party immediately. The fire alarm cleared the building out in a hurry.
4. To become or cause to become empty, as of a place or area. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clear" and "out." Let's wait to leave until the parking lot has cleared out more.
clear the air
1. To remove or improve stale air or an unpleasant odor. Please open a window and clear the air in here—it's too stuffy.
2. To discuss or otherwise confront a troublesome issue, usually with the goal of alleviating tension or confusion. The silent treatment isn't helping the situation between you two, so just clear the air already. Once we cleared the air, we found that it had just been a simple misunderstanding.
3. To remove doubt from a situation. They were able to clear the air by producing the document in question, so that we could all see it for ourselves.
clear the atmosphere
To alleviate tension, often in a group setting. Similar to the phrase "clear the air." I know my parents are still mad at me for missing curfew, so I'm going to try to clear the atmosphere this morning by apologizing profusely.
clear the Augean stables
To rid a place or entity of a massive or entrenched accumulation of something (often corruption). In Greek mythology, Heracles (Hercules) was tasked with cleansing the Augean stables—which had not been cleaned in 30 years. The local government is utterly mired in corruption and abuse, so I'm skeptical when some new elected official claims they're going to come in and clear the Augean stables.
clear the Augean stables of (something)
To rid a place or entity of a massive or entrenched accumulation of something (often corruption). In Greek mythology, Hercules was tasked with cleansing the Augean stables, which had not been cleaned in 30 years. When he was elected, he pledged to clear the Augean stables of the corruption and abuse that has plagued the local government for decades.
clear the books
1. To do, complete, or resolve something, typically a long-standing request. The Art Department asked me to make all these minor changes last year, but I just never had the time. I'm determined to clear the books today, though. The police say they have cleared the books of all 28 cases connected to the serial
2. To eradicate or pay off one's debts, fines, fees, etc. The tech entrepreneur's generous donation will clear the books for dozens of students attending the technical institute where she originally got her start. They decided to restructure the company's finances in an attempt to clear the books of nearly 10 years of bad debt.
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 table
To remove objects from a table. This phrase is often said after a meal, as one removes dishes, silverware, and leftover food from the table. I'll clear the table, and Chris will wash the dishes. Clear the table of all that junk so I can put down these placemats.
clear the way
1. To make a physical path clear of obstacles by stepping aside or moving objects out of the way. This phrase is usually said as an imperative as someone or something in need of more space approaches. Clear the way! We need to get this cart down the hallway! Make sure you clear the way for the floats when they come down the parade route.
2. To make it possible for something to happen by removing challenges, restrictions, or resistance. The compromise in congress cleared the way for the spending bill.
clear the way for
To make it possible for something else to happen. The compromise with congress cleared the way for the president's spending bill. The blockers need to help clear the way for a touchdown.
1. To make clear or understandable. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clear" and "up." That tutoring session really cleared up my confusion about sine and cosine. How did two teens clear up a murder mystery that stumped the police?
2. To alleviate tension in a particular situation. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clear" and "up." The silent treatment isn't helping the situation between you two, so just talk to Betsy and clear this issue up already.
3. To heal an inflammatory skin condition, such as acne or a rash. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clear" and "up." That acne cream cleared up my skin practically overnight.
4. Of an ailment, to resolve or be resolved. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clear" and "up." The doctor thinks this new allergy medicine will clear my symptoms right up. It seems that my cold has finally cleared up, thank goodness—it's nice to get through the day without using a whole box of tissues!
5. To become clear or sunny, as of the sky after a period of clouds or fog. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is not usually used between "clear" and "up." It sure became a beautiful, sunny day once the sky cleared up!
Of a professional athlete, to be released by a professional team and then not claimed by any other team in the league. If we demote him, do you think he'll clear waivers? I just don't want another team in our division to get ahold of him.
A rain shower that is followed by clearer skies. After that clearing-up shower, it turned out to be a pretty nice day. The sun even came out!
See also: shower
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
clear off (of some place)
to depart; to get off someone's property. Clear off my property! Clear off, do you hear?
clear out (of some place)
to get out of some place. Will you all clear out of here? Please clear out!
clear something away
to take something away. Please clear the children's toys away. Would you clear away the dishes?
clear something off somethingand clear something off
to take something off something. Please clear the dishes off the table. I'll clear off the dishes.
clear something up
1. to make something more clear. Let the muddy water stand overnight so it will clear up. A strong wind blew in and cleared up the smoke in the air.
2. to explain something; to solve a mystery. I think that we can clear this matter up without calling in the police. First we have to clear up the problem of the missing jewels.
3. to cause a rash or inflammation to return to normal; to cause skin to "clear." There is some new medicine that will clear your rash up.
4. to cure a disease or a medical condition. The doctor will give you something to clear up your congestion.
clear the air
1. Lit. to get rid of stale or bad air. Open some windows and clear the air. It's stuffy in here.
2. Fig. to get rid of doubts or hard feelings. All right, let's discuss this frankly. It'll be better if we clear the air.
clear the table
to remove the dishes and other eating utensils from the table after a meal. (Compare this with set the table.) Will you please help clear the table? After you clear the table, we'll play cards.
1. [for the sky] to become more clear or sunny. Suddenly, the sky cleared up. When the sky cleared up, the breeze began to blow.
2. [for something] to become more understandable. At about the middle of the very confusing lecture, things began to clear up. I was having trouble, but things are beginning to clear up.
3. [for a rash or skin condition] to clear the skin and return to normal. I'm sure your rash will clear up soon.
4. [for a minor illness] to improve or become cured. His cold cleared up after a couple of weeks.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. See clear out, def. 1.
2. Become clear after cloudiness, fog, etc., as in I hope this fog clears off before morning. This phrase, first recorded in 1816, is heard less often today, clear alone often sufficing ( I hope the fog clears). Also see clear up.
1. Also, clear away or off . Remove the contents, take something or someone away, as in I'll clear out this closet so you can use it, or Let me clear away these things, or Please clear off the table. The first phrase dates from the mid-1600s, the second from the mid-1700s, and the third from the early 1700s. Sometimes away and out are omitted, as in Let me clear these things, or Please clear the table. Also see clean up, def. 1.
2. Depart suddenly or run away, as in We cleared out before our landlord could stop us. [Early 1800s]
3. Drive or force out, as in The police cleared out the restaurant in no time. [Mid-1800s]
clear the air
Eliminate confusion, dispel controversy or emotional tension, as in His letter has cleared the air; we now know where he stands. This idiom alludes to an atmosphere cleared of sultriness by a storm. [Late 1800s]
1. Clarify, explain, solve, as in Let's try to clear up this misunderstanding. [Late 1600s]
2. Become clear, as in After the storm, it cleared up very quickly. [Early 1600s]
3. Return something to a normal condition, cure, as in This new salve will clear up your rash.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
clear the air
COMMON If something such as an argument or a discussion clears the air, it makes bad feelings between people go away. I get angry and frustrated with Hannah's behaviour, but I'm a great believer in expressing my feelings to clear the air. Some groups in our community seem to suffer from discrimination. An independent inquiry could clear the air and sort out the problem. Note: You can also talk about air-clearing. Goalkeeper Edwards said that the half-time air-clearing session turned the game round.. Note: Journalists sometimes talk about clear-the-air meetings or talks. He is determined to have a clear-the-air meeting with Murray this weekend.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
clear the airdefuse or clarify an angry, tense, or confused situation by frank discussion.
This expression comes from the idea that a thunderstorm makes the air less humid.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
clear the ˈairremove the causes of disagreement, fear, doubts, etc. by talking about them honestly and openly: Mary had been bad-tempered with me for days, so in an attempt to clear the air, I asked her what the matter was.
clear the ˈway (for something/for something to happen)remove things that are stopping the progress or movement of something: The ruling could clear the way for extradition proceedings.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To remove something that is covering some area, especially something that is no longer being used: She cleared away the snow on the sidewalk so that no one would slip. I cleared the dishes away after dinner.
2. To move away from some place: He cleared away from the dangerous cliff. The crowd cleared away when the police arrived.
3. To make someone or some group move away from some place: The troopers cleared the crowd away from the crime scene. The police cleared away the crowd in preparation for the celebrity's arrival.
1. To remove something that is covering some area: She cleared off the papers that were cluttering her desk. He cleared the dirt off the windowsill.
2. To clean some area by removing items that are there: He cleared off the worktable to make room for the new equipment. She cleared the counter off and wiped it with a sponge.
1. To empty something of its contents or occupants: We cleared the living room out and turned it into a dance floor. Emergency crews cleared out the village ahead of the hurricane.
2. To remove some contents or occupants from a container or region: I opened up the old cabin and cleared the cobwebs out with a broom. We finally cleared out the junk in the attic.
3. To become free of occupants: The theater cleared out when the show ended.
4. To leave a place, usually quickly: The embassy advised us to clear out before the war started.
1. To remove obstructions, unwanted objects, or imperfections from something: Could you help me clear up the table after dinner? The allergy medication cleared my sinuses up.
2. To remove some obstructions, unwanted objects, or imperfections: Firefighters quickly cleared up the accident, and traffic returned to normal. When I got poison ivy, the doctor gave me a medicinal cream to clear it up.
3. To become free of obstructions, unwanted objects, or imperfections: My skin has cleared up since I started using that acne medication.
4. To go away; disappear: I hope the traffic clears up before I have to drive home.
5. To clarify something: This article should clear up some of the confusion surrounding my new theory. The origin of the artifact remained a mystery, and we hoped that the professor could clear it up.
6. To become more apparent or easily perceptible: As we discussed the issue, it began to clear up.
7. To become brighter and more pleasant. Used especially of the weather: We can go to the beach if the weather clears up.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
in. to leave; to depart. The boss gave me till next week to clear out. I’m fired—canned.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
clear the air
To dispel differences or emotional tensions.
To be unclaimed by another professional club and therefore liable to be assigned to a minor-league club or released.
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.