clean·​up | \ ˈklēn-ˌəp How to pronounce cleanup (audio) \

Definition of cleanup

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : an act or instance of cleaning The children helped with the cleanup.
2 : an exceptionally large profit made a cleanup [=killing] when he sold his stocks



Definition of cleanup (Entry 2 of 3)

: being in the fourth position in the batting order of a baseball team a cleanup hitter

clean up

cleaned up; cleaning up; cleans up

Definition of clean up (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a spectacular profit in a business enterprise or a killing in speculation or gambling
2 : to become free of drug or alcohol addiction I always cleaned up for tours. … By the end of the tour, I'm perfectly clean and should have stayed sober.— Keith Richards

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Other Words from cleanup


cleanup adverb

Examples of cleanup in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the last cleanup in Eugene, volunteers collected nearly 200 cubic yards of trash, so the need isn’t going anywhere. oregonlive, "On the 50th anniversary, coronavirus in Oregon makes for an Earth Day like no other," 22 Apr. 2020 Northam also has proposed a $135-billion two-year spending plan that makes big investments in environmental cleanup and early childhood education. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "Democrats look to history as Virginia’s General Assembly opens its session," 8 Jan. 2020 Also, Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips have a role in the cleanup. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "After calls for transparency, Hilcorp and BP say Alaska pipeline deal needs no public hearing," 8 Jan. 2020 Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé were the most frequent multinational brands collected in cleanups. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "You Can't Just "Clean Up" the Plastic in the Ocean. Here's Why.," 18 Dec. 2018 The lid is hefty but lifts and lowers smoothly, and the grill’s lift-and-slide ash drawer makes cleanup a snap. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Became a Charcoal Grill Master," 2 May 2020 Smithfield Foods asked about 250 employees to report to its Sioux Falls plant on Monday to staff two departments — ground seasoned pork and night cleanup, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers union local. Stephen Groves,, "Some meat plants reopen, but Trump order may not be cure-all," 1 May 2020 The road was closed until 9:45 a.m. for the accident investigation and cleanup. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A teen is in critical condition after the vehicle he was driving rolled several times into a house," 30 Apr. 2020 In any circumstance, this easy and portable induction burner is perfect for quick use, easy cleanup, and small storage. Popular Science, "Cook with speed and precision with these induction cooktops," 27 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Two recent studies, both published in 2018, found impaired lung and heart function and strained breathing, respectively, among cleanup workers and U.S. Coast Guard personnel who had been in contact with the oil. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 17 Apr. 2020 Federal regulators could issue enforcement orders to require cleanup action. USA TODAY, "Native Hawaiian princess, beer bandits, flaming hand sanitizer: News from around our 50 states," 11 Mar. 2020 Intensive cleanup efforts began over a decade ago, after the Environmental Protection Agency declared the canal a Superfund site, and real estate developers began sniffing around the area. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "A 'Netflix for the 99 Percent' Enters the Streaming Wars," 3 Mar. 2020 Cardinals cleanup man Mark McGwire had missed two weeks because of a knee injury, and there was no timetable for the slugger’s return. Mike Digiovanna, Los Angeles Times, "Angels’ Albert Pujols hangs on as member of vanishing breed: .300 career hitters," 27 Sep. 2019 For years, the public works director was the city’s cleanup man and dutiful caretaker. Jason W. Lloren,, "Bay Briefing: Super bummed — 49ers simply can’t contain the Chiefs," 3 Feb. 2020 Its 75-ounce water reservoir can make up to 8 cups before having to refill, and the removable drip tray makes any and all cleanup simple. Popular Science, "Top-notch coffee pod machines to get your morning started right," 10 Oct. 2019 Funds will support trail maintenance and cleanup efforts in Birmingham and the surrounding area. William Thornton |, al, "REI Co-op to open Summit location next month," 25 Sep. 2019 As required by federal law, the Department of Defense has, and continues to, conduct cleanup actions at sites where PFAS was found, said Chuck Prichard, spokesperson for the DOD. NBC News, "A 'forever chemical' poisons drinking water near military bases," 16 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cleanup.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cleanup


1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1912, in the meaning defined above


1920, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cleanup


see clean entry 1

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Time Traveler for cleanup

Time Traveler

The first known use of cleanup was in 1872

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Statistics for cleanup

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cleanup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for cleanup


How to pronounce clean up (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cleanup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the process of cleaning something



English Language Learners Definition of cleanup (Entry 2 of 2)

: fourth in the batting order of a baseball team

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Comments on cleanup

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