\ ˈklir \

Definition of clear 

(Entry 1 of 6)

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 6)

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 6)

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 6)

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

One thing that is not clear, says Robertson, is how these stresses interact. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "Why are these 250,000 bees hanging out on this sweet Downtown Boise rooftop?," 11 July 2018 The testing is also conducted against high visibility targets in clear terrain which the pretend enemy has made no effort to conceal. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Long Awaited A-10 vs.-F-35 Flyoff Is Off to a Sketchy Start," 11 July 2018 Keeping baby clothes and momentos Last year, Joanna created the cutest keepsakes for her kids: Memory boxes for each child stored in clear fabric bins, filled with their baby items and a handwritten letter. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "10 of Chip and Joanna Gaines' Sweetest Family Traditions You’ll Want to Copy ASAP," 9 July 2018 Mitchell would like to make the message loud and clear using her platform that braids are more than just a protective style. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Model Salem Mitchell Is Sick of Black Women's Hairstyles Being Labeled "Ghetto"," 13 July 2018 But since 2010, eight more have died, making clear the threat of toxo was no fluke. Kim Steutermann Rogers, Smithsonian, "How the Tiniest of Parasites is Taking Down the Mightiest of Monk Seals," 9 July 2018 Hillary Clinton, to be clear—for another’s benefit. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Truth Without Consequences," 13 July 2018 The close but clear vote in the 2016 referendum to leave the EU was a startling surprise. Arthur I. Cyr, Lake County News-Sun, "Cyr: Britain’s prime minister takes charge of cabinet," 13 July 2018 Trippier and Young are hanging back a bit more, or at least until the coast is clear. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 At Tuesday’s keynote, Intel started with one new offering that was straight ahead and clear. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "How Intel May Have Mislead Video Gamers With a New Chip Demonstration," 8 June 2018 The official guidance from health experts is for those with diarrhea to avoid swimming for two weeks after the symptoms clear up. Agnel Philip, azcentral, "Pool season is crypto season: How to lower the odds of getting infected," 26 May 2018 According to the National Weather Service, Sunday will be sunny, with a high near a toasty 88, and staying clear into evening, with a low of around 59. Kristi Turnquist,, "Portland Sunday weather: Sunshine and highs near 88 for Mother's Day," 13 May 2018 Should the legislation passed Tuesday clear the General Assembly as well, 60,200 employers and more than 1 million employees would qualify for the benefit, according to the fiscal note. Sandra Gomez-aceves,, "Earned Family Medical Leave, Tesla Get Committee Approval But Face Uncertain Future," 17 Apr. 2018 Otherwise, steer clear of any telescopes under about $200, especially department store fare that tout their magnification capabilities above all else. Don Melanson, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Telescopes to Get Started in Stargazing," 14 Feb. 2017 Jay Ajayi is the Eagles’ clear-cut No. 1 running back, as was explained in last week’s Early Birds. Zach Berman,, "Eagles make a change to training camp schedule | Early Birds," 26 June 2018 The replay rules essentially allow for most clear-cut, black-and-white plays to be put into the review system. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "Royals manager Ned Yost would like to see MLB expand instant replay," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In total, an estimated 7,408 square kilometres of land were cleared to make way for cattle pasture and croplands. Jeff Tollefson, Scientific American, "Deforestation Ticks Up in Brazil's Savanna," 13 July 2018 All of the limbs and brush have been cleared, but the monstrous tree now divides the trail in two, adding another choice to make when hiking through — left or right. Author: Kat Sorensen, Anchorage Daily News, "Mount Marathon race trail has it all: snow, lush vegetation, flowing water and lots of dust," 3 July 2018 Disney and Fox The Justice Department has cleared Disney’s purchase of Fox assets, on the condition that ESPN-owner Disney must sell off 22 regional sports networks that come as part of the deal. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Supreme Court, Amazon Deliveries, Apple and Samsung: CEO Daily for June 28, 2018," 28 June 2018 Szostek was medically cleared at Porter Regional Hospital before police booked him into Porter County Jail. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Hobart man stole phone from car in sheriff's parking lot while turning himself in on separate warrant: police," 28 June 2018 With his windpipe cleared, the man reportedly man went on to enjoy the rest of his meal. Southern Living, "Fast Food Heroes: Texas Chick-fil-A Employee and Customer Team Up to Save Choking Man," 28 June 2018 In his Facebook post, Lynch attempted to clear a few things up. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "David Lynch backpedals on Trump praise: 'You are causing suffering'," 26 June 2018 Since her husband's recovery, the UCSD team has successfully cleared infections in five more people with phage cocktails, under a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process designed for emergencies where no approved treatments are available. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Can bacteria-slaying viruses defeat antibiotic-resistant infections? A new U.S. clinical center aims to find out," 21 June 2018 The land was first cleared to provide trees to fuel the iron works. Janet Eastman,, "Ex-Trail Blazer Rasheed Wallace sells $3 million mansion seen on 'Cribs' (photos)," 11 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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Learn More about clear

Statistics for clear

Last Updated

18 Sep 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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