\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

Synonyms & Antonyms for clear

Synonyms: Adjective

crystal, crystal clear, crystalline, limpid, liquid, lucent, pellucid, see-through, transparent

Synonyms: Verb

free, open, unblock

Antonyms: Adjective

cloudy, opaque

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


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

Investors’ clear worry is that the government’s pilot program could be extended across China. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Solving China’s Drugs-Price Problem Is Hurting Drugmakers," 7 Dec. 2018 What’s clear right now is that Fortnite isn’t just going after Battlefield. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Fortnite adds planes and now people are playing it like Battlefield," 6 Dec. 2018 The biggest factors are visibility and darkness, so any flight on a clear night with dark skies has a better chance of seeing them. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to See the Northern Lights When You Fly, According to an Icelandair Pilot," 21 Nov. 2018 Because having a resonant, direct, clear sort of story is part of the experience. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander Author Diana Gabaldon on Her Two Rules for Writing a Good Sex Scene," 24 Oct. 2018 This morning's chilly New York City temps screamed one thing loud and clear to me: Winter is coming. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "The One Thing You Should Always Do To Your Driveway Before Winter Hits," 18 Oct. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Contract-interpretation battles are common, but Mr. Hawkins’s case isn’t clear-cut. David Benoit, WSJ, "Canadian Insurers Fight Cattle Farmer’s Investment Strategy, Fearing Stampede," 4 Oct. 2018 Nicholas Heymann, an analyst at William Blair & Co., said the latest moves clear away lingering concerns over GE’s debt while laying out a plan to monetize several major assets. Rick Clough,, "GE CEO’s Make-or-Break Overhaul Took Shape on a Ski Vacation," 27 June 2018 The Mellencamp factor Indiana rock star John Mellencamp works exceedingly hard these days to steer clear of the mainstream, but Nashville acts are out there putting his name in the ears of new listeners. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Four ways Kenny Chesney keeps ‘welcome summer’ party going, plus a song for Ella Whistler," 1 June 2018 Throughout my experience, one thing remained clear: Current and former foster youth need better access to resources to help us face unique challenges within, and outside of, the child welfare system. Tanisha Saunders, Teen Vogue, "I Was a Foster Child and Now I'm a Foster Care Activist," 24 May 2018 In Ohio, where the debilitating effects of the opioid crisis on productivity are becoming clear just as the economy is hungry for more output, new initiatives are trying bridge that gap. Christa Case Bryant, The Christian Science Monitor, "Wanted in Ohio: Workers who can pass a drug test," 16 May 2018 That testing, which came back clear, knocked out some of the questions and question marks for the rest of the pregnancy. The Cut, The Cut, "The Mom Who Kept the Remains From Her Abortion in Her Purse," 29 Mar. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Zarya was originally designed with an operational life span of 15 years, but in 2013, a team of Russian engineers cleared it to remain in space through 2028. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "What ISS Taught Us In the Past 20 Years," 20 Nov. 2018 The cabinet decision clears the path for the deal to be officially presented to EU leaders at a summit expected this month. Max Colchester, WSJ, "U.K.’s May Gets Cabinet’s Go-Ahead on Brexit Deal," 14 Nov. 2018 The land was cleared and prepared through the labor of nearly 2,000 German prisoners of war, some handpicked for their engineering and construction experience. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 Ovechkin asked the people posted behind him to clear a path so that the cathedral could be visible. Isabelle Khurshudyan,, "Alex Ovechkin brings the Stanley Cup to his homeland of Russia: 'It was incredible'," 9 July 2018 After the group of protesters camped outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office complied with a notice from the Louisville Metro Police Department by clearing a four-foot path on the sidewalk, the city came back Monday with more demands. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Police give Occupy ICE protesters a second notice with more demands," 9 July 2018 Dillon led only the final lap during the 500, following a bold move to knock Aric Almirola out of the way and clear a path to victory. Edgar Thompson,, "Austin Dillon reflects on life-changing win at Daytona 500," 6 July 2018 On top of that, the Nuggets traded Wilson Chandler to Philadelphia, clearing the path for Barton to start full-time. Ben Golliver,, "2018 NBA Free Agency: The Early Winners And Losers," 5 July 2018 The move clears a path for the former Texas A&M Aggies star and Houston native to return to his home state and sign with the Mavericks, ESPN and other media outlets reported. Roger Pinckney, star-telegram, "DeAndre Jordan opts out of deal with Clippers. Will he really come to Dallas this time?," 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

11 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on clear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clear

Spanish Central: Translation of clear

Nglish: Translation of clear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clear for Arabic Speakers

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).


a nest or breeding place

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