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To admit something to someone, often regarding a wrongdoing that one has tried to hide. We have to come clean with the police before Joe gets punished for our crime! The kids finally came clean about eating the cookies I'd made for the bake sale.
come clean (with someone) (about something)
Fig. to be honest with somebody about something. I want you to come clean with me about your financial status. Sam will come clean with me. I know he will.
Confess everything, as in If you come clean about what happened I will promise to keep it to myself. [Slang; early 1900s]
COMMON If you come clean about something, you tell the truth about it. I had expected her to come clean and confess that she only wrote these books for the money. It is now time for the Government to come clean, tell the world exactly how the recent tragedy happened and announce an investigation.
come cleanbe completely honest and frank. informal
come ˈclean (with somebody) (about something)(informal) tell the truth about something, especially after lying or keeping it secret: I’ll come clean with you — I’ve been reading your mail. ♢ He finally came clean and confessed.
To confess all.
come clean, to
To tell the whole truth, to confess. A slangy Americanism dating from the early twentieth century, it most often appeared in crime novels and pertained to confessing guilt. Listed in a collection of argot published in 1919, the term became a cliché through its overuse in murder mysteries. P. G. Wodehouse played on it in Sam the Sudden (1925): “You’d best come clean, Soapy, and have a showdown.”
See also: come