wipe slate clean and wipe the slate clean
wipe (one's) slate clean
To erase the record of one's wrong-doings, likened to wiping the contents off of a piece of slate, formerly used as a reusable writing surface. I had been late a bunch of times, but after he heard that I'd been struggling so much at home, my boss said he would wipe my slate clean. Mom said she would wipe your slate clean if you pay for the vase you broke.
wipe the slate clean
1. To forget, forgive, or erase the record of someone's transgressions or wrong-doings, starting again as if they never occurred. Likened to wiping the contents off of a piece of slate, formerly used as a reusable writing surface. I had been late to work several times, but after the boss heard that I'd been struggling so much at home, he offered to wipe the slate clean and give me a fresh chance. These companies pay huge amounts of money to wipe the slate clean after they are caught doing something immoral or illegal. I appreciate your apology. Let's just wipe the slate clean and move on with things, eh?
2. To forget, forgive, or erase the record of someone's debt. The government announced a plan to wipe the slate clean for nearly two million people who had been burdened by excessive student loans. I know you can't pay me back, so why don't you spend a couple weekends doing work on the farm and we'll wipe the slate clean.
3. To discard, dismantle, or dispose of some existing system, framework, organizational structure, etc., in order to begin using a new one. The rebels have vowed to wipe the slate clean for their war-torn country, promising to establish a new government that works on behalf of its citizens. It nearly killed me having to wipe the slate clean after two years of work, but the underlying operating system we had been developing simply wasn't working.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
wipe someone's slate clean and wipe the slate clean
Fig. to get rid of or erase someone's (bad) record. (As if erasing information recorded on a slate.) I'd like to wipe my slate clean and start all over again. Bob did badly in high school, but he wiped his slate clean and did a good job in college.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.