\ˈklir \

Definition of clear 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a : bright, luminous bonfires clear and bright— Shakespeare

b : cloudless specifically : less than one-tenth covered a clear sky

c : free from mist, haze, or dust a clear day

d : untroubled, serene a clear gaze

2 : clean, pure: such as

a : free from blemishes clear skin

b : easily seen through : transparent clear glass clear plastic bags

c : free from abnormal sounds on auscultation

3a : easily heard a loud and clear sound

b : easily visible : plain a clear signal

c : free from obscurity or ambiguity : easily understood : unmistakable a clear explanation

4a : capable of sharp discernment : keen a clear thinker

b : free from doubt : sure not clear on how to proceed

5 : free from guile or guilt : innocent a clear conscience

6 : unhampered by restriction or limitation: such as

a : free of debts or charges a clear estate

b : net a clear profit

c : unqualified, absolute a clear victory

d : free from obstruction clear passage

e : emptied of contents or cargo A ship is clear after unloading.

f : free from entanglement or contact staying clear of controversy keep clear of the boundary

g : bare, denuded clear ground



Definition of clear (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : in a clear manner to cry loud and clear

2 : all the way drove clear across the state


cleared; clearing; clears

Definition of clear (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to make clear or translucent clear the water by filtering

b : to free from pollution or cloudiness clear the atmosphere

2 : to free from accusation or blame : exonerate, vindicate the opportunity to clear himself

3a : to give insight to : enlighten clear my mind about the new arrangement

b : to make intelligible : explain clear up the mystery

4a : to free from what obstructs or is unneeded: such as

(1) : open sense 1b clear a path

(2) : to remove unwanted growth or items from clear the land of timber

(3) : to rid or make a rasping noise as if ridding (the throat) of phlegm needed to clear my throat

(4) : to erase stored or displayed data from (a device, such as a computer or calculator)

b : to empty of occupants clear the room

c : disentangle clear a fishing line

d : to remove from an area or place clear the dishes from the table

e : transmit, dispatch

5a : to submit for approval clear it with me first

b : authorize, approve cleared the article for publication : such as

(1) : to certify as trustworthy clear a person for classified information

(2) : to permit (an aircraft) to proceed usually with a specified action the plane was cleared to land

6a : to free from obligation or encumbrance

b : settle, discharge clear an account

c(1) : to free (a ship or shipment) by payment of duties or harbor fees

(2) : to pass through (customs)

d : to gain without deduction : net clear a profit

e : to put through a clearinghouse clear a check

7a : to go over, under, or by without touching the ball just cleared the uprights

b : to move through successfully : pass the bill cleared the legislature

intransitive verb

1a : to become clear it cleared up quickly after the rain

b : to go away : vanish the symptoms cleared gradually

c : sell Hogs cleared at steady rates.

2a : to obtain permission to discharge cargo

b : to conform to regulations or pay requisite fees prior to leaving port The ship cleared yesterday and is ready to sail.

3 : to pass through a clearinghouse

4 : to go to an authority (as for approval) before becoming effective All tax bills must clear through our committee.

clear the air or less commonly clear the atmosphere

: to remove elements of hostility, tension, confusion, or uncertainty had a long meeting to clear the air

clear the decks

: to make sweeping preparations for action



Definition of clear (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : a clear space or part

2 : a high arcing shot over an opponent's head in badminton

in the clear

1 : in inside measurement corridors three feet in the clear

2 : free from guilt or suspicion The jury's decision was that he was in the clear.

3 : in plaintext : not in code or cipher a message sent in the clear

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Other Words from clear


clearness noun


clearable \ ˈklir-​ə-​bəl \ adjective
clearer \ ˈklir-​ər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for clear


clear, transparent, translucent, limpid mean capable of being seen through. clear implies absence of cloudiness, haziness, or muddiness. clear water transparent implies being so clear that objects can be seen distinctly. a transparent sheet of film translucent implies the passage of light but not a clear view of what lies beyond. translucent frosted glass limpid suggests the soft clearness of pure water. her eyes were limpid pools of blue

clear, perspicuous, lucid mean quickly and easily understood. clear implies freedom from obscurity, ambiguity, or undue complexity. clear instructions perspicuous applies to a style that is simple and elegant as well as clear. a perspicuous style lucid suggests a clear logical coherence and evident order of arrangement. a lucid explanation

synonyms see in addition evident

Examples of clear in a Sentence


There are clear differences between the two candidates. She's the clear favorite to win the election. I'm not completely happy with the plan, but I see no clear alternative. He was the clear winner. She has made it abundantly clear that she does not support us. It's not clear how much longer we'll have to wait. “Changes will have to be made.” “Yes, that's clear.” Her writing has a clear style. The instructions weren't very clear about when we were supposed to begin. I think I have a clear understanding of the problem.


We drove clear across the state. The ball rolled clear across the street.


The sky cleared after the rain. The weather is cloudy now, but it's clearing gradually. The morning fog gradually cleared. When the smoke cleared, we could see that the building had been completely destroyed. The water cleared after the mud had settled. My skin cleared when I started using the cream. They cleared timber from the land. She cleared everything out of the closet. I'll clear those books out of the way. The police ordered the crowd to clear the area.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

What does seem clear is that Ford is eager to add Spin’s scooters to its still-in-development mobility cloud. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Ford adds electric scooter startup to its growing mobility collection," 8 Nov. 2018 After talking to over 1,000 mammography technologists, radiologists and patients, the answer was clear: To make mammograms suck less, put the women having them in control. Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "Mammograms Don't Have to Be So Terrible, Thanks to This Breakthrough Screening Technology," 30 Oct. 2018 The British line of succession is clear: Prince Charles will take over as king for Queen Elizabeth II, followed by Prince William, and eventually his son Prince George. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "This Is What Kate Middleton's Title Will Be When Prince William Becomes King," 25 Oct. 2018 After all, as the origin of the theory itself makes clear, quantum phenomena can lie just under our noses. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Things escalate quickly as the farmhouse’s history makes itself clear. 4. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "16 Classic Halloween Movies You Can Stream Right Now," 17 Oct. 2018 The details of Carlson’s role have not been made clear. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Amy Carlson Cast in Her First TV Role Since 'Blue Bloods' Exit," 13 Oct. 2018 Turns out, there’s a reason for that—as this Reuters article makes clear. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Trump and NATO, Papa John's Out, Broadcom Buys CA: CEO Daily for July 12, 2018," 12 July 2018 Beryl's impact on Haiti isn't clear as of Saturday morning. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "Beryl weakens to a tropical storm with winds up to 60 mph as it heads toward islands," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

What's more clear-cut though is the fact that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, says Rita Kalyani, M.D., associate professor of medicine and physician of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at Johns Hopkins University. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "What's the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?," 10 Sep. 2018 On land, most of the island's Volcanoes National Park is still closed because of continuous eruptions, while the U.S. Coast Guard has established a safety zone at sea that boats must steer clear of. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Lava Bomb Hits Hawaiian Tour Boat Near Kilauea Volcano," 16 July 2018 But Republicans eager to undermine Mueller's investigation berated Strzok, citing the texts as evidence of partisan bias within a law enforcement agency supposed to steer clear of politics. Author: Eric Tucker, Mary Clare Jalonick, Anchorage Daily News, "FBI agent clashes with GOP at hearing on Russia probe," 13 July 2018 This amid widespread concern that the country’s political debate is overheated and even dangerous -- to the point that many voters steer clear of talking politics with family and friends. Dana Blanton, Fox News, "Fox News Poll: Democrats ahead in election enthusiasm, interest -- and the vote," 12 July 2018 Investors in Chinese car makers should steer clear of such potholes. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Chinese Auto Sales Run Into a Lending Roadblock," 10 July 2018 Have a national host immediately steer clear of any conversation of Joe Crede or Jermaine Dye. Teddy Greenstein,, "Dan McNeil dishes on ’05 Sox, ’18 Cubs and what talk-radio hosts root for," 26 June 2018 Residents were asked to steer clear of the affected area. Thomas Leavy, CBS News, "Natural gas pipeline explosion rocks rural Kansas," 15 June 2018 What was harder to anticipate was that his appetite for diplomatic destruction would reach clear back to the Treaty of Ghent. Josh Gohlke, San Francisco Chronicle, "Last Word: Trump’s 1812 overturn," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the course of less than ten years, he was named as a defendant in four lawsuits filed by people alleging misconduct — he was cleared of wrongdoing in two, but settlements in the others have cost the city $250,000. Ian Duncan,, "Baltimore Police detective suspended after judge orders him to give up gun in domestic violence case," 13 July 2018 He was cleared of the misdemeanor assault charges in February. NBC News, "Former NBA star Charles Oakley accused of gambling fraud at Las Vegas casino," 12 July 2018 Until it is cleared away, Europe’s great banking merger wave will be slow to get going. The Economist, "Why the euro zone hasn’t seen more cross-border bank mergers," 12 July 2018 Oakley was previously arrested last year following an altercation at Madison Square Garden, but he was later cleared of charges as part of an agreement that, among other things, barred him from visiting the arena for a year. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "Former NBA All-Star Charles Oakley arrested in Las Vegas for allegedly cheating at casino," 12 July 2018 He was cleared of two further charges at the end of the six week trial., "Former Newcastle Youth Coach George Ormond Jailed for Sexual Abuse Across 3 Decades," 4 July 2018 The actress was then taken to the hospital, where she was medically cleared. Maria Pasquini,, "Heather Locklear Will Seek Treatment for Substance Abuse & Mental Health in Long-Term Facility: Source," 30 June 2018 He was medically cleared to resume hitting early in the day and now could rejoin the Angels next week. Jeff Miller,, "Shohei Ohtani has been cleared to resume hitting, Mike Trout could return to center field Friday," 29 June 2018 Another Poland Chance Grosicki’s corner is poor, but after it is cleared Kurzawa of Poland rushes in for a shot. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Japan Advances in World Cup 2018 Despite Losing to Poland," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Domagoj Vida had seven clears from the Croatian defense. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 One key in Sunday’s 10-9 overtime win against Georgetown was the Blue Jays’ ability to force the Hoyas into failing on five of 17 clears. Edward Lee,, "Johns Hopkins vs. Duke men’s lacrosse: Three things to watch," 20 May 2018 Off the beaches, Spanish mackerel will turn on as soon as winds drop and water clears, and cobia are also in the area around markers and other structure. Frank Sargeant,, "Friday Fishing Report," 20 Apr. 2018 Southampton remain rooted in 18th position in the league standings with six matches left of the 2017/18 campaign, and are five clears from safety ahead of the next round of fixtures., "Mark Hughes Hits Out at Poor Saints Showing in 3-0 Defeat to Fellow Strugglers West Ham," 1 Apr. 2018 United are currently second in the table, seven points clears of their north west rivals after seven games, level on points with neighbours Manchester City and trailing only on goal difference., "Jose Mourinho Reportedly Set for Bumper New 5-Year Manchester United Contract," 12 Oct. 2017 The Gladiators excelled on clears all afternoon, particularly buckling down any time the Seahawks made their way into the circle. Brent Kennedy, Howard County Times, "Glenelg field hockey opens season with 3-1 win over South River," 5 Sep. 2017 Bill Martin, Academy Park, Sr. – Clears space for Kareem Burton & Co. Nafeei Minor, Simon Gratz, Sr. – Rick O'brien,, "Offensive linemen who will dominate the trenches," 20 Aug. 2017 North Carolina’s 9-0 run in the second half was assisted in part by a 10-man ride that seemed to cause problems for the Great Danes, who failed on four of eight clears in the third quarter. Edward Lee,, "Albany vs. Maryland men's lacrosse: Three things to watch," 21 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clear.' 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 clear


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for clear


Middle English clere, from Anglo-French cler, from Latin clarus clear, bright; akin to Latin calare to call — more at low


see clear entry 1


see clear entry 1


see clear entry 1

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Statistics for clear

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clear

The first known use of clear was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for clear



English Language Learners Definition of clear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very obvious : not causing or allowing doubt

: easily understood

: free from doubt or confusion



English Language Learners Definition of clear (Entry 2 of 2)

: in a clear manner

: all the way : completely or entirely


\ˈklir \
clearer; clearest

Kids Definition of clear

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : easily heard, seen, noticed, or understood a clear definition The differences were clear. She spoke in a clear voice.

2 : free of clouds, haze, or mist a clear day

3 : free from feelings of guilt a clear conscience

4 : easily seen through clear water

5 : free from doubt or confusion : sure Are you clear on what you need to do?

6 : free of blemishes clear skin

7 : not blocked a clear path a clear view

8 : bright sense 1, luminous clear sunlight

Other Words from clear

clearly adverb
clearness noun


cleared; clearing

Kids Definition of clear (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to free of things blocking I cleared my throat.

2 : to make or become free of clouds, haze, or mist The sky cleared.

3 : to get rid of : remove Please clear dishes from the table.

4 : to go over or by without touching The ball I hit cleared the fence.

5 : to go away : disperse The crowd cleared rapidly.

6 : explain sense 1 We tried to clear the matter up.

7 : to free from blame The judge cleared my name.

8 : to approve or be approved by Our plane was cleared to land. Our proposal cleared the committee.

9 : to make as profit We cleared 85 dollars on the sale.



Kids Definition of clear (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : in a way that is easy to hear loud and clear

2 : all the way I could hear you clear across the room.


\ˈkli(ə)r \

Medical Definition of clear 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a of the skin or complexion : good in texture and color and without blemish or discoloration

b of an animal coat : of uniform shade without spotting

2 : free from abnormal sounds on auscultation

Medical Definition of clear (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to render (a specimen for microscopic examination) transparent by the use of an agent (as an essential oil) that modifies the index of refraction

2 : to rid (the throat) of phlegm or of something that makes the voice indistinct or husky

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Legal Definition of clear 

1 : unencumbered by outstanding claims or interests a search showed the title was clear

2 : free from doubt or ambiguity

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Comments on clear

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playful or foolish behavior

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