make a clean sweep


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Related to make a clean sweep: To make both ends meet, To read between the lines

make a clean sweep

Fig. to do something completely or thoroughly, with no exceptions. The boss decided to change the direction of the company, so he made a clean sweep and fired all the top management. They made a clean sweep through the neighborhood, repairing all the sidewalks.
See also: clean, make, sweep

make a clean sweep

1. Remove or eliminate unwanted persons or things, as in The new owners made a clean sweep of the place, intending to replace all the equipment. This phrase replaced the much older (16th-century) general sweep. [Mid-1800s]
2. Win overwhelmingly, as in Our candidate made a clean sweep of all the districts. This usage is most often found with reference to success in a sports competition or election.
See also: clean, make, sweep

make a clean sweep

COMMON
1. If someone makes a clean sweep of something, they win something very easily, or win a series of things. China have made a clean sweep of all nine titles in the event, with three more gold medals today. It was nice to see a British film make a clean sweep at the Oscars. Note: A clean sweep is used in many other structures with a similar meaning. The Italians look well placed to repeat their clean sweep of 1990.
2. If someone who has just taken up a position of authority in an organization makes a clean sweep, they make a lot of very big changes, for example getting rid of employees, in order to make the organization more efficient. When Don arrived he said he was going to make a clean sweep, but I didn't think he would go quite this far. Note: A clean sweep is also used in other structures with a similar meaning. There were rumours that he planned a clean sweep of long-time employees. True to expectations, he fired the managers, one by one. They're talking about a clean sweep of the entire cabinet. Compare with a new broom.
See also: clean, make, sweep

make a clean sweep

1 remove all unwanted people or things ready to start afresh. 2 win all of a group of similar or related sporting competitions, events, or matches.
See also: clean, make, sweep

make a clean ˈsweep (of something)

(informal)
1 remove unwanted things or people: The Prime Minister is expected to make a clean sweep of his advisers who don’t support the new policy.
2 win all the prizes, etc. that are available: Kenyan athletes made a clean sweep (of the medals) in yesterday’s competition.
See also: clean, make, sweep