\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from clear


clearness noun


clearable \ ˈklir-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce clearable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for clear

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Friday hearing was expected to include some closed-door testimony by Zarate before Chhabria, the San Francisco Examiner reported – though the reason for that portion was not clear. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "Competency of Kate Steinle’s alleged killer being reviewed by federal judge," 18 Oct. 2020 Fauci, the government’s top disease expert, says the data on masks working is clear. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "Trump adviser questions efficacy of mask mandates despite CDC guidelines recommending their use," 18 Oct. 2020 What is clear is that the Taliban direct their ire most fervently at the president, painting him as an American puppet. Saphora Smith, NBC News, "Corruption, conflict and a common enemy: Can old Afghan opponents come together to make peace?," 18 Oct. 2020 And if the Senate turns Democratic after the upcoming elections, the path could be clear for Congress to pass new antitrust legislation that would be appropriate for the digital 21st century. Isaac Cheifetz, Star Tribune, "Dems would provide digital platforms a needed 21st century makeover," 17 Oct. 2020 The exact scope of what was being investigated was not clear. Eric Tucker, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden email episode illustrates risk to Trump from Giuliani," 17 Oct. 2020 The legal criteria for overcoming the Supremacy Clause have been made clear in a series of cases dating to the 19th century, when the logic held that unruly state authorities were trying to overstep their bounds. Tom Jackman, Washington Post, "Prosecuting Park Police officers in Bijan Ghaisar slaying faces significant legal hurdle," 16 Oct. 2020 Nor has it been made clear whether the skeleton will end up at a museum like Sue did. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, "A T. Rex Sold for $31.8 Million and Paleontologists Are Worried," 16 Oct. 2020 John Galliano thrived amid the limitations of lockdown, as his revealing Maison Margiela films made clear. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "“Faced With Restrictions, These Are the Designers Who Took Us Somewhere New”—Vogue Editors Weigh In on the Most Innovative Presentations of Spring 2021," 14 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb To the electrician fixing the oxygen factory, however, the dam’s promise is less clear-cut. Washington Post, "Africa’s largest dam powers dreams of prosperity in Ethiopia — and fears of hunger in Egypt," 15 Oct. 2020 These design choices show how, for Gallaudet students and viewers alike, the hearing and Deaf worlds are not so clear-cut. Laken Brooks,, "Netflix’s Deaf U Proves That There’s No “Right” Way To Be Deaf," 10 Oct. 2020 Another case, involving honey, was far less clear-cut. Benjamin R. Cohen, Wired, "Your Food Isn’t ‘Natural’ and It Never Will Be," 8 Oct. 2020 The existence of these story lines illustrates how people will often take any development, no matter how clear-cut, and twist it to reinforce their own worldviews. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "Don’t Expect Trump’s Diagnosis to Change the Minds of Pandemic Skeptics," 2 Oct. 2020 My claim seemed clear-cut: I was laid off from a full-time W-2 job, with regular paystubs, because of the Covid-19 recession. Clio Chang, The New Republic, "My 98 Days in Unemployment Purgatory," 8 Sep. 2020 The Cubs will face left-hander Derek Holland on Wednesday night, and some of the choices won’t be so clear-cut. Mark Gonzales,, "Ian Happ remains at the top of the Cubs order as manager David Ross sorts his expanded options," 1 Sep. 2020 With national news showing images of vast stretches of ancient forests that had been clear-cut, a practice in which thousands of trees are leveled at once, representatives of Oregon’s biggest timber companies attended a hearing in the state Capitol. The Cutting, ProPublica, "What Happened When a Public Institute Became a De Facto Lobbying Arm of the Timber Industry," 7 Aug. 2020 With national news showing images of vast stretches of ancient forests that had been clear-cut, a practice in which thousands of trees are leveled at once, representatives of Oregon’s biggest timber companies attended a hearing in the state Capitol. oregonlive, "What happened when a public institute became a de facto lobbying arm of the timber industry," 4 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After a couple weeks of quarantining in her Red Hook apartment, Patton grabbed her art equipment and headed to SoHo in an attempt to clear her mind and break out of isolation. Imani Mixon, Detroit Free Press, "Inspired by COVID-19 lockdown, 2 ex-Detroiters take their art to the streets of SoHo," 18 Oct. 2020 The challenge for voters, on this front, is to guess what’s the best way to fix this: Give Trump another chance or clear the slate and start over. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Are we better off than we were four years ago?," 17 Oct. 2020 The state will use this time to clear a backlog of unemployment filings and implement fraud prevention technology, the Labor Department said. Sarah Chaney, WSJ, "U.S. Jobless Claims Rose to 898,000 Last Week," 15 Oct. 2020 Edwards said 3,000 Louisiana National Guard soldiers were mobilized to clear roads and to distribute meals and tarps, and 10,000 utility workers were working to get power restored to nearly 600,000 customers. Anchorage Daily News, "Delta adds insult to injury in hurricane-ravaged Louisiana," 10 Oct. 2020 Edwards said 3,000 Louisiana National Guard soldiers were mobilized to clear roads and to distribute meals and tarps, and 10,000 utility workers were working to get power restored to nearly 600,000 customers. Rebecca Santana, Star Tribune, "Delta adds insult to injury in hurricane-ravaged Louisiana," 10 Oct. 2020 What better therapy to clear the mind of ideological fixations, and to let in the fresh breeze of real life, than contemplating animals and their humble lot? Matthew Scully, National Review, "The Animal-Protection Movement Is Everything That ‘Woke’ Activism Isn’t," 4 Oct. 2020 As winter approaches in Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley worries about having enough city snow truck drivers to clear roads quickly enough and whether small businesses can make it when outdoor dining and other activities cease. Shruti Singh,, "Stressed U.S. Cities See Slim Shot at Covid Relief After Shutout," 30 Sep. 2020 Skies should clear to mostly sunny and the high temperature may reach 86 degrees. oregonlive, "Portland metro Wednesday weather: Mix of hazy, sunny skies; high 84," 30 Sep. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clear

Time Traveler for clear

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for clear

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for clear


How to pronounce clear (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more



Legal Definition of clear

1 : unencumbered by outstanding claims or interests a search showed the title was clear
2 : free from doubt or ambiguity

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on clear

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!