clear·​ing | \ˈklir-iŋ \

Definition of clearing 

1 : the act or process of making or becoming clear

2 : a tract of land cleared of wood and brush

3 : the settlement of accounts or exchange of financial instruments especially between banks

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Synonyms & Antonyms for clearing


acquittal, exculpation, exoneration, vindication



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Examples of clearing in a Sentence

the clearing of the table the clearing of wood and brush from part of the forest We found a clearing in the forest.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Federal and local scientists will meet next month to debate how best to revive a species that numbered more than 1 million in the 1800s but dwindled to 13 birds during the 1970s after decades of forest clearing. Danica Coto, The Seattle Times, "Scientists work to save wild Puerto Rican parrot after Maria," 21 Nov. 2018 Finley dreamed up the industry clearing house as a co-ed at Simmons College in the 1940s. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Ruth Finley, Keeper of New York Fashion Week’s Pink-Sheeted Calendar, Has Died," 27 Aug. 2018 After a wait, numbers are typed into a computer, followed by pauses for thought, a bit of throat clearing and, often, comments that the current rates on offer may not exceed inflation. The Economist, "American banks pay depositors less than online accounts," 15 Feb. 2018 What Gimlin's camera sees is a strange, large, ape-like figure limbering on its hind legs across a clearing. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Science Meets Legend: The Story of Our Search for Bigfoot," 8 Oct. 2018 If a great ride can wash away worries, here, seven women who ride reveal the best clearing, calming, and hydrating face cleansers that can wash off a full day on two wheels. Mackenzie Wagoner, Glamour, "7 Motorcyclists on Deep-Cleaning Face Washes They Swear By," 18 Oct. 2018 After nearly three hours of waiting, French helicopters arrived, and an American soldier can be seen on the video moving out into the clearing, waving a U.S. flag to help the aircraft locate them. Lolita C. Baldor, Fox News, "New Niger video shows harrowing escape of US forces," 17 May 2018 Los Angeles Times Weed clearing: San Francisco is working with a nonprofit organization to create a program that would automatically clear eligible marijuana convictions under California's new marijuana legalization law. Shelby Grad,, "Essential California: USC and the allegations against a gynecologist," 16 May 2018 After firing a 91-mile-per-hour fastball in the second inning Monday afternoon at Monan Park, BC High ace Mike Vasil allowed a bases-clearing, three-run triple to deep center field by Xaverian’s Jack Whorf for a 5-1 deficit. Karl Capen,, "BC High’s Mike Vasil leaves game with apparent elbow strain," 23 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for clearing

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for clearing

The first known use of clearing was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for clearing



English Language Learners Definition of clearing

: the act or process of making something clear or of becoming clear

: an open area of land in which there are no trees


clear·​ing | \ˈklir-iŋ \

Kids Definition of clearing

: an open area of land in which there are no trees We found a clearing in the forest.

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More from Merriam-Webster on clearing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clearing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clearing

Spanish Central: Translation of clearing

Nglish: Translation of clearing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clearing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on clearing

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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