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 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 During a 7-on-7 drill in the summer of 2015, Perkins took note of how cleanly Kosonovich handled a receiver’s route, especially considering that receiver had just beaten Perkins. Steve Reaven,, "Carson Kosonovich, Donovan Perkins still shutting the door in New Trier secondary," 14 July 2018 But iPhone owners will appreciate how cleanly their phone is integrated into the X3's infotainment system. Carlos Lago, Edmunds, USA TODAY, "Edmunds compares the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Which luxury SUV has the edge?," 13 July 2018 Candidates should be able to write quickly and cleanly. Si Wire,, "We're hiring! Apply to join's news team," 18 June 2018 Fueled by ethanol, the cars burn more fuel cleanly, according to a report presented at the American Chemical Society in 2013. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "The Indy 500 is actually super trashy," 21 May 2018 The piece was small, measuring only 6 inches wide and 6 feet long, and was cleanly cut, suggesting someone deliberately removed it. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Someone Is Already Stealing Panels From China's New Solar Road," 8 Jan. 2018 However, his music evades obvious categorizations, as his piano-centric songs, Sinatra-like baritone and witty lyricism doesn’t cleanly place him in indie rock, modern pop or jazz. Lizzie Manno, Billboard, "Matt Maltese: The Apocalyptic British Singer-Songwriter That America Desperately Needs," 10 July 2018 The grounder was fielded cleanly, but Davidson opted to throw home for the force out instead of taking one more step for an out at first. Bobby Nightengale,, "Alex Blandino's 2-run double highlights Cincinnati Reds comeback win over White Sox," 2 July 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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Phrases Related to cleanly

cleanliness is next to godliness

Statistics for cleanly

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for cleanly

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

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More Definitions for cleanly



English Language Learners Definition of cleanly

: easily and completely

: without causing pollution

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Comments on cleanly

What made you want to look up cleanly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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