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

Other Words from cleanup


cleanup adverb

Examples of cleanup in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The footage of the cleanup has been trending on South Korea's social media and news ever since. Byhyerim Lee, ABC News, 19 July 2022 With climate change intensifying extreme weather events, residents must confront the prospect that a constant and exhausting cycle of evacuation, return and months of cleanup will become the new normal. New York Times, 18 July 2022 Even without considering this wider economic harm, the total cost of the cleanup alone could be twenty billion dollars. Ed Caesar, The New Yorker, 25 June 2022 Feldgus said work on the sites would start later this year and take weeks to months, depending on the complexity of cleanup. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, 27 May 2022 Available: Now Little doodlers will love this easy to use creative toy, and parents will love the lack of cleanup! Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 25 Apr. 2022 But the green ooze emanation prompted another round of cleanup, the EPA spending more than $3.1 million before returning the site to state regulatory authority early last year. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, 22 Apr. 2022 People who were staying at the camp were given 21 days' notice of the cleanup, said Susan Buchino, the director of Homeless Services for the city. Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez, The Courier-Journal, 15 Apr. 2022 Our testers found the Twenty39 Qarbo to be only second to Drinkmate in overall quality, with comparable excellence in terms of carbonation performance, user-friendliness, and ease of cleanup., 15 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There were two out, a runner on first and cleanup hitter Austin Hays was waiting for Morgan. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 4 June 2022 The cleanup hitter continued his tear with a two-run home run, his third of the series. Lamond Pope, Chicago Tribune, 14 May 2022 The government has secured nearly $1 billion in funding cleanup efforts on the Navajo Nation by suing companies that didn't properly clean up their uranium mines, according to the EPA Region 9 spokesperson. Zayna Syed, The Arizona Republic, 21 July 2022 Staunton: Parts of Gypsy Hill Park remained closed to the public Monday as cleanup efforts continued from last week's devastating storm that impacted the city. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 19 July 2022 The road was closed during cleanup efforts and is back open for normal traffic Wednesday morning. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 15 June 2022 Our first assignment wasn’t a wildfire but a cleanup project at Devils Postpile National Monument in the eastern Sierra Nevada, where a historic windstorm had been severe enough to uproot a distressing number of mature lodgepole pines. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 1 Mar. 2021 Perversely, however, even as cleanup efforts were beginning in Triana, and even as scientific evidence of the harmfulness of DDT was accumulating, calls to bring it back were increasing in volume. Scott W. Stern, The New Republic, 31 May 2022 Suter doesn't buy paper towels or napkins, frequents farmers markets to buy food that hasn't been packaged, has a garden in his basement and has volunteered for cleanup projects, according to a 2020 Journal Sentinel report. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of cleanup


1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1912, in the meaning defined above


1920, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cleanup


see clean entry 1

Buying Guide

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Time Traveler for cleanup

Time Traveler

The first known use of cleanup was in 1872

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Dictionary Entries Near cleanup



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Statistics for cleanup

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cleanup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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