clean·​ly | \ ˈklēn-lē How to pronounce cleanly (audio) \

Definition of cleanly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in a clean manner


clean·​ly | \ ˈklen-lē How to pronounce cleanly (audio) \
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

Lobster also played a key role in an indulgent seafood tower, drawn clean from its shell and sharing a bed of ice with fat shrimp, big crab claws, fresh oysters and king crab legs cut cleanly in half to get every sweet bite without the fight. Mike Sutter,, "Review: Silo Terrace Oyster Bar now San Antonio’s best seafood restaurant," 20 June 2019 Davis met the high-flying point guard at the rim, cleanly swatting the shot away and triggering a fast break for the Blazers. Mike Richman,, "Ed Davis' double-double helps Portland Trail Blazers top Dallas Mavericks, 107-93: Rapid reaction," 26 Jan. 2018 More: Louisville is the 'snakiest city' in Kentucky and all this rain has them slithering out The birds can be valuable contributors to the ecosystem, disposing cleanly of animal carcasses. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Black vultures eat animals alive and terrorize Kentucky farms. But the feds protect them," 25 June 2019 The grounder was too slow for a double play, but Iglesias couldn't field it cleanly. Bobby Nightengale,, "Luis Castillo struggles as Cincinnati Reds' win streak ends in a loss to Milwaukee Brewers," 23 June 2019 Even something that, in the past, might've been as cleanly, logically handled as the Iran thing became nonstop harum-scarum. NBC News, "Meet the Press - 6/23," 23 June 2019 Washington should fit cleanly into a rotation role early in his career. Bobby Sullivan,, "2019 NBA Draft Grades: Hornets Select PJ Washington With No. 12 Pick," 20 June 2019 Chavis has handled throws adeptly, taken charge on popups, and fielded the position cleanly. Peter Abraham,, "Positional shuffle hasn’t hurt Michael Chavis on defense," 20 June 2019 Jarrett Tjaden sent a ground ball to Bryant and the kid cleanly fielded the ball and tossed to his second baseman for the inning-ending out. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park’s Bronco, Pinto all-stars capture Directors Tournament titles," 17 June 2019

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

15 Jul 2019

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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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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

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


to complain fretfully

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