clean·​up | \ˈklēn-ˌəp \

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 : killing made a cleanup 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


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

There will be litter cleanup of roads, parks and right-of-ways. Austen Erblat,, "Earth, Arbor days activities planned in the western communities," 10 Apr. 2018 Baez will bat cleanup for the eighth time this season. Mark Gonzales,, "Cubs' Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant batting 1-2 vs. Padres," 14 July 2018 Their lineup is so depleted that Dominic Smith, who entered the game hitting .197, batted cleanup. Seth Berkman, New York Times, "Mets’ Jacob deGrom Throws a Gem, With His Future Unclear," 11 July 2018 After starting the season batting in the No. 9 spot, Muto found himself batting cleanup in the district championship game. Andrew Turner,, "Newport Harbor PONY tops Newport Beach in district championship game," 24 June 2018 Senior cleanup hitter Steven Hajjar went 4 for 6 with a triple and 4 RBIs, and No. Owen Pence,, "Central Catholic ousts BC High in Super 8 baseball semifinals," 16 June 2018 Catcher Sydney Bishop went 3-for-3 as the cleanup hitter and drove in two runs. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Bishop Foley, Gabriel Richard will meet in Division 3 baseball title game," 15 June 2018 For the second consecutive day, cleanup hitter Brooks Wilson came to the plate in the ninth inning with a chance to put the Stetson baseball team ahead in its NCAA Super Regional series against North Carolina. Brett Friedlander,, "Stetson ends best season in school history with loss to UNC at Chapel Hill Super Regional," 9 June 2018 Root, the cleanup hitter, hit a 1-2 pitch in to the hole at shortstop. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "HS baseball: Zionsville edges Kokomo for third straight sectional title," 28 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Under the plan, the EPA's Superfund program would absorb portions of hazardous site cleanup programs run by the Interior and Agriculture departments. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Trump's plan to overhaul government would give Interior and EPA more power," 22 June 2018 Community members routinely host cleanup events to improve conditions. Marissa J. Lang, Washington Post, "‘We don’t need to panic just yet:’ D.C. residents worry that a dog park is in peril," 11 May 2018 Most facilities reopened at midday, but officials warned that traffic could be slow as cleanup work continues. Washington Post, "National Digest: Yosemite reopens after storm-related flooding," 9 Apr. 2018 Much of that work is thanks to crews from the county’s Department of Public Works, which in the days immediately after the flood deployed 40 workers to Main Street to begin cleanup efforts. Kate Magill, Columbia Flier, "As Ellicott City flood recovery continues, other Howard public works projects stalled," 14 June 2018 Members decided at that time to hold an internal donation drive for the town and assist with cleanup efforts. Janene Holzberg, Howard County Times, "Shakespeare coming to the aid of Ellicott City in pair of benefit performances," 8 June 2018 Keeping things streamlined to a few ingredients all cooked in one packet means more time for hanging out and enjoying a relaxing meal with very little cleanup time. For Kroger, The Courier-Journal, "It's outdoor dining season: celebrate with zesty grilling dinner packets," 26 May 2018 Members of the Sleeping Giant Park Association Monday is appealing to the public to stay away so cleanup crews can do their work. Gregory B. Hladky,, "Sleeping Giant Closed For Summer Due To Storm Damage," 21 May 2018 Melissa Meehan and Marianne Quasebarth coordinate the annual cleanup day and tree-planting event, which takes place the last Saturday in April. Carol Kovach,, "Chilly, soggy weather didn't stop Keep Lakewood Beautiful volunteers from sprucing up the city," 29 Apr. 2018

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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Learn More about cleanup

Statistics for cleanup

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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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Comments on cleanup

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by force of circumstances

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