clear

1 of 4

adjective

1
a
: bright, luminous
bonfires clear and brightShakespeare
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
3
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
clearness noun

clear

2 of 4

adverb

1
: in a clear manner
to cry loud and clear
2
: all the way
drove clear across the state

clear

3 of 4

verb

cleared; clearing; clears

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
3
a
: to give insight to : enlighten
clear my mind about the new arrangement
b
: to make intelligible : explain
clear up the mystery
4
a
: 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
5
a
: 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
6
a
: 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
7
a
: 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

1
a
: 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.
2
a
: 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.
clearable adjective

clear

4 of 4

noun

1
: a clear space or part
2
: a high arcing shot over an opponent's head in badminton
Phrases
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
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
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
Clouds undoubtedly dominated the sky, but in the hour before sunset, the western horizon seemed clear enough for both the day and the season to reach a fiery conclusion. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2023 Rupert Murdoch has long made clear that one of his two sons would ultimately succeed him. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2023 Satellite images obtained by CNN showed that there has been extensive construction at the Novaya Zemlya test site from 2021 to 2023, with ships and new shipping containers arriving at its port, roads being kept clear in the winter, and tunnels dug deep into the Arctic mountains. Eric Cheung, CNN, 22 Sep. 2023 The warnings that the country offers are all too clear and are recounted in uncountable histories. Samuel Clowes Huneke, The New Republic, 22 Sep. 2023 However, the case comes with a clear zippered pouch that can be removed from the middle compartment and used as a mini cosmetic pouch for shorter trips. Anna Popp, Travel + Leisure, 22 Sep. 2023 The deputy, whose condition was not immediately clear, was rushed to a hospital. Keri Blakinger, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2023 There will be a lot more that gets clearer when Auburn walks into Kyle Field for the start of SEC play in less than a week. Matt Cohen | McOhen@al.com, al, 17 Sep. 2023 Lack of clear disclosure ‘bad for consumers’ Regulators have struggled to keep up with the rapid rise of the online influence industry, experts say. Anahad O'Connor, Caitlin Gilbert and Sasha Chavkin, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Sep. 2023
Adverb
Kate and William are making their ties to the RAF clear this year. Town & Country, 11 Aug. 2023 The National Weather Service says marine clouds will fill the skies in most locations, then gradually clear leaving us a sunny afternoon. oregonlive, 10 Aug. 2023 Zoom alternatives Privacy advocates like George recommend steering clear from Zoom until the company provides more details into how users will give their informed consent, what data will be collected and how it will be used. Elizabeth Napolitano, CBS News, 9 Aug. 2023 Early Sunday, Todd Vidgen and his son Zeph, 12, were helping Gardens resident Manuel Clemente clear downed trees from his property. Ben Crandell, Sun Sentinel, 30 Apr. 2023 But there will come a point where our voices are so loud, our determination so clear, it can longer be stopped. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 24 May 2023 This is because healthy habits (including regular exercise) that keep the arteries clear let more blood flow to both the heart and the brain, nourishing both organs. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2023 Are your vision and mission so clear and magnetic that everyone—from executive leadership to frontline employees—can articulate it consistently? Claire Chandler, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2023 Related: Ease financial toxicity by putting electronic medical records to work The practices in other countries make one solution to financial toxicity pretty clear. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, STAT, 23 May 2023
Verb
Workplace safety regulators have recommended a suite of measures including water spraying systems, ventilation and vacuum systems to clear dust, in addition to protective respirators for workers — ones covering the entire face if silica levels in the air are high. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, 24 Sep. 2023 Coming off the corner, Roldan scored on its third chance before LCC could clear. Breven Honda, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Sep. 2023 The state inspection also determined that the bats captured from both schools were not infected with rabies and that no bats had been discovered for 48 hours, meaning the school is cleared to reopen. Stephanie Gallman Jordan, Southern Living, 24 Sep. 2023 Editor’s picks Nils Lofgren, meanwhile, wasn’t originally supposed to be part of this show, since the E Street Band had gigs booked this week, but his schedule cleared when Bruce Springsteen’s peptic ulcer flared up. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 21 Sep. 2023 George cleared a procedural vote 92 to 1 in the last vote Wednesday night. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 20 Sep. 2023 Portland will see partly sunny skies, clearing to mostly sunny by the afternoon Tuesday. oregonlive, 19 Sep. 2023 When a group of militants violently took over the Golden Temple, Sikhism’s holiest site, in 1984 to push their Khalistani cause, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sent in commandos to clear them in a bloody operation that left hundreds dead. Mujib Mashal, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Sep. 2023 Officers were attempting to clear the stadium following the game when the altercation occurred with the Minor High School's band director, according to the Birmingham Police Department. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 19 Sep. 2023
Noun
Three snaps earlier, Fields connected on a 48-yard deep ball to rookie Tyler Scott, who torched cornerback Greg Stroman with his release, then used his speed to break into the clear. Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune, 1 Aug. 2023 The boys of Fiji, as the frat was called, seemed to be in the clear. T.a. Frank, Washington Post, 28 June 2023 Alyssa Edwards, North Harford, senior, goalie Eighty-four saves, 27 clears and one caused turnover marked a strong senior season for Edwards. Sam Cohn, Baltimore Sun, 26 June 2023 The Black Knights ousted Maryland despite taking 15 fewer shots, committing 10 more turnovers and failing on four clears. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 14 May 2023 Several failed clears and gaffes led to Florida opportunities. Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Apr. 2023 The settlement doesn’t mean Fox News is in the clear. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 18 Apr. 2023 Coach Matt Painter has a clear of what Purdue basketball needs heading into next season: quickness. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Apr. 2023 So are the remaining banks in the clear? Diti Kohli, BostonGlobe.com, 31 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near clear

Cite this Entry

“Clear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clear. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition

clear

1 of 4 adjective
1
a
: shining brightly : luminous
clear sunlight
b
: free from clouds, haze, dust, or mist
a clear day
c
: free from trouble : serene
a clear gaze
2
a
: free of blemishes
a clear complexion
b
: easily seen through : transparent
clear glass
3
: easily heard, seen, or understood
a clear voice
the meaning was clear
4
: free from doubt : sure
a clear understanding of the issue
5
: free from guilt : innocent
a clear conscience
6
: free from restriction or entanglement
a clear profit
the coast is clear
clearness noun

clear

2 of 4 adverb
1
: in a clear manner
shout loud and clear
2
: all the way : completely
can see clear to the mountains
the hole goes clear through

clear

3 of 4 verb
1
a
: to make or become clear
clear the water by filtering
the sky is clearing
b
: to go away : vanish
clouds cleared away after the rain
2
: to free from blame
cleared my name
3
: to make understandable : explain
cleared the matter up for me
4
a
: to free from things blocking
clear land for crops
clear a path
b
: to remove stored or displayed data from (as a computer or calculator)
5
: to give or get approval
the proposal cleared the committee
6
: to pay in full : settle
clear an account
7
: to go through customs
8
: net entry 4
cleared a profit
9
: to get rid of : remove
clear the dishes from the table
10
: to go over or by without touching
cleared the fence
clearable adjective
clearer noun

clear

4 of 4 noun
: a clear space or part
Etymology

Adjective

Middle English clere "clear, bright," from early French cler (same meaning), from Latin clarus "clear, bright" — related to clairvoyance, declare

Medical Definition

clear

1 of 2 adjective
1
a
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

clear

2 of 2 transitive verb
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

Legal Definition

clear

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

More from Merriam-Webster on clear

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