\ ˈklir How to pronounce clear (audio) \

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
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 How to pronounce clear (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for clear

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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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

Adjective 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. Adverb We drove clear across the state. The ball rolled clear across the street. Verb 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 To a court of history, Trump’s role in the attack on the Capitol is painfully clear. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Trump Will Be Haunted by the Law for Years to Come," 17 Feb. 2021 In the months since Election Day, as the president attacked the democratic process and a mob descended on the seat of American government in his name, the dangers of walking in his political shadow have rarely been more clear. New York Times, "On Trump, Michigan Republicans Lean One Way: ‘Fealty at All Costs’," 16 Feb. 2021 Still, with fisheries, the signal of climate change isn’t always so clear: Human pressures are varied enough that climate cannot always be cast as a distinct culprit for the changing movements of a particular species. Regin Winther Poulsen, The Atlantic, "The Rules for Dividing the Ocean’s Riches Are Breaking," 13 Feb. 2021 But the party’s philosophical direction is less clear. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "The GOP's civil war over Trump," 11 Feb. 2021 Anderson said scattering loved one’s ashes on private property is fine, but in public places the law is not so clear. Michael Wetzel The Decatur Daily, al, "Why cremations are becoming increasingly common in Alabama," 7 Feb. 2021 Loners, both male and female, leave their packs for reasons that aren't entirely clear. Greg Stanley, Star Tribune, "A pack of wolves thrived near Minneapolis; how it died offers lessons for the future," 6 Feb. 2021 The pattern was as clear as skywriting; the balls seemed to hang in the air. Tom Vanderbilt, Wired, "Here’s What Learning to Juggle Does to Your Brain," 4 Feb. 2021 Much less clear is whether the college sports industry will nationalize safety reforms like those adopted by the NFL, which limits the number of full-contact practices per season, or some college conferences. Alan Blinder, San Francisco Chronicle, "Football practices pose more concussion risk than games, study suggests," 1 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb And yet these scenes mostly work anyway because the dynamic between them is so clear-cut. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "In ‘The Mauritanian,’ Hollywood takes on Guantánamo. Can it do it justice?," 11 Feb. 2021 In orthopedics, the question seems simpler, but isn’t always so clear-cut. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Elective, but not optional: Orthopedic patients eagerly await surgeries delayed by Covid-19," 27 Jan. 2021 Democrats will control the floor and run committees, but their control is less clear-cut because there is an equal number of GOP and Democratic senators. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "McConnell seeks to preserve filibuster in talks with Schumer on power-sharing," 19 Jan. 2021 Democrats concerned about the 2020 campaign had steered clear of explicitly supporting calls to defund the police, but many avoided explicitly shutting down the slogan and policy proposal. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, "Democrats ditch 'defund the police' slogan, but not necessarily policy principles," 18 Dec. 2020 The location of their campaign events are a tell of their priorities: Republicans have largely steered clear of the Atlanta metro region to focus on increasing turnout in more rural portions of the state. New York Times, "The Suburbs Helped Elect Biden. Can They Give Democrats the Senate, Too?," 7 Dec. 2020 Jones also steered clear of bashing defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, whose unit has allowed a league-worst 36.3 points per game. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Cowboys owner Jerry Jones laments 'glaring difference' between Dak Prescott, Andy Dalton," 20 Oct. 2020 The pandemic pushed down overall health spending sharply, particularly in the spring and early summer, as hospitals shut down many typical procedures and nervous patients steered clear of clinics and emergency departments. Anna Wilde Mathews, WSJ, "Health Coverage Costs Continued Steady Rise Pre-Pandemic," 8 Oct. 2020 The Yankees weakness became glaringly apparent Wednesday night in the bottom of the seventh inning of a tie game when Aaron Boone notably steered clear of Adam Ottavino. Kristie Ackert,, "Yankees need Adam Ottavino, bullpen to step it up against the Rays in the ALDS," 4 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Conditioning does not mean Beutner will clear the way for a return to high school sports competition. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Unified School District to return to sports conditioning the week of March 1," 22 Feb. 2021 His defiance helped to clear the way for other iconoclastic comedians. Dan Bilefsky, New York Times, "In Canada, Did a Comedian’s Joke Go Too Far?," 20 Feb. 2021 The Senate early Friday passed a budget resolution that will clear the way for circumventing Republican opposition to a large COVID-19 aid measure. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "House Democrats meet with Biden on COVID-19 aid after Senate passes key budget measure," 5 Feb. 2021 After nearly a year of site preparation to clear the way, construction crews have started on what will be two residential towers and two full-block commercial buildings, as well as new city streets and a 5-acre waterfront park. John King,, "Giants’ Mission Rock megaproject starting to take shape across from Oracle Park," 1 Jan. 2021 Wall Street had been hoping since last week that Trump would back down from his veto threat and clear the way for more financial support for hurting individuals and businesses. Alex Veiga, ajc, "US stocks hit records after Trump signs $900B aid package," 28 Dec. 2020 Wall Street had been hoping since last week that Trump would back down from his veto threat and clear the way for more financial support for hurting individuals and businesses. Alex Veiga,, "US stocks hit records after Trump signs $900B aid package," 28 Dec. 2020 French Defense Minister Florence Parly said there are currently no plans to develop such bionics, but the panel decision does clear the way for their future development. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Welp, France Just Signed Off on Cyborg Soldiers," 11 Dec. 2020 As enticing as the A&M-Ohio State matchup would have been, the Big Ten seems to be doing everything in its power to clear the way for the Buckeyes to reach the playoffs, including removing the six-game minimum to play in the conference title game. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "As enticing as No. 5 Texas A&M vs. No. 4 Ohio State would have been, it was never going to happen," 9 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Eagles coach Denise Wolf said adjustments designed to improve clears and get better looks off corners helped keep her team in strong contention, particularly in a back-and-forth first half. Rich Scherr,, "Drills, deflection make difference for Garrison Forest in IAAM field hockey semifinals," 1 Nov. 2019 Although the public health guidelines are clear - steer clear of others - these workers are putting in longer shifts and taking on bigger workloads. Author: Abha Bhattarai, Anchorage Daily News, "Grocery workers increasingly fear showing up at work," 13 Apr. 2020 But steer clear of buying this for gamers looking for a traditional Sonic or Mario platformers: This might be a loser for them. Lisa Marie Segarra, Fortune, "Gift Guide: Winning Presents for the Video Gamers on Your List," 5 Dec. 2019 Brady adds that Kennedy, who has committed to play at Virginia Tech, was just as valuable on defending clears thanks to her strong footwork. Brent Kennedy,, "Hensh takes own path to Howard County girls lacrosse Player of Year honors," 10 June 2019 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 Brady adds that Kennedy, who has committed to play at Virginia Tech, was just as valuable on defending clears thanks to her strong footwork. Brent Kennedy,, "Hensh takes own path to Howard County girls lacrosse Player of Year honors," 10 June 2019 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

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

Adjective, Adverb, Verb, and Noun

Middle English clere, from Anglo-French cler, from Latin clarus clear, bright; akin to Latin calare to call — more at low entry 3

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Time Traveler for clear

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for clear

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for clear



English Language Learners Definition of clear

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: very obvious : not causing or allowing doubt
: easily understood
: free from doubt or confusion



English Language Learners Definition of clear (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a clear manner
chiefly US, informal : all the way : completely or entirely



English Language Learners Definition of clear (Entry 3 of 3)

of weather or the sky : to change so that there are no clouds, fog, etc.
of clouds, fog, smoke, etc. : to go away
of a liquid : to change by becoming easier to see through : to become transparent or more transparent


\ ˈklir How to pronounce clear (audio) \
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 How to pronounce clear (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on clear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clear

Nglish: Translation of clear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clear for Arabic Speakers

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