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

The trickiest thing about the Radical was getting away cleanly. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "How a day driving high-downforce cars at VIR taught me I’m OK being slow," 11 Sep. 2018 Advertising Rafael Devers followed with hard ground ball to third that ate up Moore, never allowing him to field it cleanly or even attempt a throw as another run crossed. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Whew! Mariners hang on to beat Red Sox despite three ninth-inning errors," 30 Mar. 2019 And Leury Garcia’s inability to pick up the ball cleanly after that set up the third run of the inning. John Hickey,, "Reynaldo Lopez strikes out 10 but gets no offensive support in White Sox's 8-1 loss to A's," 17 Apr. 2018 Sherman’s teammate Earl Thomas was able to hit Gronkowski cleanly in a near-identical play last season. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Richard Sherman explains why helmet-to-helmet hit on Rob Gronkowski wasn't dirty," 21 Jan. 2018 With its resonating cavity, the traditional guitar was hard to amplify cleanly. David Kirby, WSJ, "‘The Birth of Loud’ Review: Constructive Feedback," 17 Jan. 2019 The teeth of this high-quality 40-tooth blade have both flat-top and alternate-top-bevel grind so the blade rips and crosscuts cleanly. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "5 Biggest Woodworking Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)," 15 Jan. 2019 Dickson says Apple has struggled to cleanly integrate the number of charging coils built within the mat, too, a problem that has reportedly been exacerbated by the relatively compact size of the device. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "Reports: Apple AirPower still overheating, may be “doomed to failure”," 17 Sep. 2018 Canada’s Spencer O’Brien got up limping after falling on her first jump, Rukajarvi made it cleanly to the third jump before crashing out on her first run. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Jamie Anderson wins her second Olympic gold in women's snowboard slopestyle," 12 Feb. 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

6 May 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 speak slightingly about or to degrade

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