: something that helps a person to find something or to solve a mystery
Word History of CLUE
The word clue was originally an alternate spelling of clew, meaning “a ball of thread or yarn.” Our usual modern sense of clue, “something that helps solve a mystery,” grows out of the image of a ball of thread that helps a person to find a way out of a maze. Of stories containing this image, the best known is the Greek myth of Theseus and Ariadne. Ariadne gave the hero Theseus a ball of thread that he unraveled as he searched the labyrinth, or huge maze, of her father, King Minos. After killing the monster in the labyrinth, Theseus retraced his steps by rewinding the thread.