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

That could include outreach workers for homeless people, trash cleanup, and a shuttle system to bring workers to and from public transit stops. Michael Levenson,, "Once again, Suffolk DA speaks out against South End police sweeps," 9 Aug. 2019 More than 20 volunteers from Westlake High School helped with setup, cleanup, face painting and topping the sundaes. Linda Gandee/special To,, "Westlake library holds popular, annual ice cream sundae social; more than 1,200 ice cream sundaes served," 5 Aug. 2019 But the unspoken expectation of doing the cleanup, too, is confusing me and is kind of irking. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, "Miss Manners: Hostesses seem angry when I won’t help clean up," 2 Aug. 2019 But the unspoken expectation of doing the cleanup, too, is confusing me and is kind of irking. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Reader prefers to clean up her own house, but other hosts seem to expect it.," 2 Aug. 2019 Sasaki bats cleanup for Ofunato, just as Ohtani once did for Hanamaki Higashi. Los Angeles Times, "Japanese teen’s triple-digit fastball has some calling him the next Shohei Ohtani," 26 July 2019 The website lists free parking for up to 150 vehicles, room set-up and cleanup, a day-of coordinator, plates, silverware and glassware and in-house bar and catering services under separate contract. Nicole Brodeur, The Seattle Times, "Couples planning weddings jilted by owner of Seattle event venue," 24 July 2019 An untested theory for the high levels of radiation on Naen could be that the island may have been used as a dumping ground for some of the waste from the cleanup on Rongelap, researchers suggest. Helen Regan, CNN, "Parts of Marshall Islands are more radioactive than Chernobyl and Fukushima, study finds," 17 July 2019 Beatrice Armstrong-Johnson, one of Roberts-Joseph's 11 siblings, tells the Post that her sister also ran neighborhood trash cleanups, house repairs, food banks and clothing drives. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Sadie Roberts-Joseph, Slain Activist, Showed How Museums Can Raise Up Their Communities," 17 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Rays had a runner on first and cleanup hitter Nate Lowe up with two outs in the 10th inning Saturday against the White Sox. Lamond Pope,, "Jace Fry gives the White Sox bullpen another reliable arm since: ‘We’re all in a groove’," 24 July 2019 Lake County officials’ frustration with delays in obtaining millions of dollars in federal reimbursement for Hurricane Irma cleanup efforts should be coming to an end. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Lake chair assured $7.8M FEMA reimbursement for Hurricane Irma cleanup is on the way," 13 July 2019 Even as cleanup efforts improve, outreach workers have noticed a change in the drug landscape. Rachel Swan,, "Needles on wane in BART trains and stations, another sign of fentanyl’s rise," 7 July 2019 The latest clash centers on the tribe’s insistence that neither Atlantic Richfield nor the state has any authority to carry out cleanup efforts on its property. Washington Post, "AP Exclusive: Water delivery suspended in Nevada mine battle," 28 Apr. 2018 That case and others have raised doubts about the effectiveness of Latvia’s cleanup effort. The government has cut back substantially on the number of bank accounts that belong to nonresidents, the biggest source of money laundering. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "Sanctions on Russia and North Korea Put Tiny Latvia in U.S. Cross Hairs," 17 July 2019 In subsequent tweets, Alfaro showed the city’s cleanup operation. Fox News, "Freak summer hailstorm hits Mexican city, leaves cars buried in ice," 2 July 2019 That same month, the Democratic congressman went to the House floor to praise Holtec International and its chairman, Kris Singh, a campaign contributor who was seeking federal approvals and funding for nuclear cleanup initiatives around the country. Susan Schmidt, ProPublica, "Meet the Congressman Defending Questionable Tax Breaks for a Company Connected to His Rich Brother," 2 July 2019 The company has been broadening its product line to include data cleanup and machine learning tools, enabling it to compete in the wider data-warehousing business. Bloomberg,, "Salesforce to buy Tableau for $15.3 billion, making push into big data," 10 June 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 above

History and Etymology for cleanup


see clean entry 1

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Statistics for cleanup

Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cleanup

The first known use of cleanup was in 1872

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More Definitions for cleanup



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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More from Merriam-Webster on cleanup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cleanup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cleanup

Nglish: Translation of cleanup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cleanup for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cleanup

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


a period when something is suspended

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