clean·​ly | \ˈklēn-lē \

Definition of cleanly 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: in a clean manner


clean·​ly | \ˈklen-lē \
cleanlier; cleanliest

Definition of cleanly (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : careful to keep clean : fastidious

2 : habitually kept clean

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Other Words from cleanly


cleanliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cleanly

Synonyms: Adverb

clean, fair, fairly, legally

Antonyms: Adverb

dirty, illegally

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Examples of cleanly in a Sentence


A sharp knife will cut through the skin of a tomato cleanly. This fuel burns more cleanly than other fuels.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The fluidity between home screens, scrolling through webpages or Instagram, and watching content move cleanly across the screen is almost a spectacle. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Razer Phone 2 review: it glows, but it doesn’t shine," 22 Oct. 2018 For another impressive landing, check out the world's largest plane, the Antonov An-225, coming in cleanly. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a 757 Land Practically Sideways in Gale Force Winds," 19 Oct. 2018 Indeed, there are some signs that companies may not clear the earnings bar that analysts have set for the third quarter quite so cleanly as in the second quarter, when a record number of companies beat analyst estimates. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "An Earnings Roadblock for Stocks," 3 Oct. 2018 Big wings who can facilitate are always a plus, but Yarbrough will also need to threaten off the ball to fit more cleanly at the next level. 54. Jeremy Woo,, "2019 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 60 Prospects," 27 June 2018 Sophomore Payton Giberson won the opening faceoff cleanly and quickly found Grimes, who scored 7 seconds into play. Glenn Graham,, "Calvert Hall wins second straight MIAA A lacrosse title with 8-6 win over Boys' Latin," 19 May 2018 The opposition to Trump inside the Republican Party has never fallen cleanly along ideological lines. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The fall of the not-quite-Trumpers," 6 Nov. 2018 To spell it out more simply, Marc Jacobs’s highlighter yellow box bag features the designer’s name cleanly and clearly across the bottom. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "The Best Logo Bags to Buy Now," 10 Oct. 2018 The Rockets eventually tied the game at the 60:52 mark when sophomore goalkeeper Elliana Mandli didn’t cleanly clear a ball out of the box. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "WIAA state soccer: 'All I was thinking was please don’t miss.' And St. Joseph's Grace Pechous didn't," 16 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cleanly.' 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 cleanly


13th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for cleanly

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for cleanly

The first known use of cleanly was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of cleanly

: easily and completely

: without causing pollution

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More from Merriam-Webster on cleanly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cleanly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cleanly

Spanish Central: Translation of cleanly

Nglish: Translation of cleanly for Spanish Speakers

Comments on cleanly

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to enclose within walls

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